LONDON — October 2011 — Liberty announces today the acquisition of Christys’ Hats, a legendary
British brand. This acquisition marks the beginning of Liberty’s strategy of investing in and
promoting niche luxury brands with a strong British heritage.
Founded in 1773, Christys’ Hats is synonymous with the finest quality and craftsmanship in
hat making. From British made Trilbys and Fedoras, to classic English and Scottish tweed flat caps,
iconic bowlers,top hats and the finest quality Ecuadorian Panamas hand blocked and finished in the
UK; this iconic British brand is one of the few companies in the world still making hats in the
traditional way. The brand has been forged with a passion and commitment to quality for over 200
years, making it one of the most sought after hat brands across the globe. From the fashionable to
the traditional, Christys’ hats transcend all boundaries and have been coveted by wearers across
more than two centuries including: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill
(Bowler & Homburg — both still available today), The Queen Mother, Liza Minnelli and more
recently Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Usher (Christys’ CrownBasix), Tinie Tempah (Bowler), Paolo
Nutini, Johnny Depp (Fedora), Paloma Faith, Cheryl Cole (Christys ‘Crown Nimbin) and Kate Moss
(Wide Brim Fedora).
Christys’ is also a major supplier to the corporate and public sector and has played an
influential role in the development of the British police force headwear. Liberty is delighted to
announce that Christys’ has launched in store with a menswear collection in an exclusive concept
space. The collection spans from wide brim Fedoras to classic Trilbys, pork pie hats,bowlers and
flat caps. The autumnal colour and fabric spectrum includes Balmoral tweeds, cashmere, silk,
navy wool with a stripe ribbon band, maroon wool with a pleated ribbon trim and classic black, dove
grey and navy trilbys. Retail prices range from £55 to £95.
Liberty will continue to work with Christys’ to develop the range and is thrilled to be
unveiling the launch of the first Christys’ womenswear collection due early next year.
Positive Results Fuel Investment
Liberty Ltd has experienced 12 months of steady growth following BlueGem’s acquisition in
June 2010leaving the business cash generative. 2010 saw Liberty report a 35% sales uplift on the
previous year with22% from the flagship business and 72% growth from the Fabrics wholesale business
with the Japanese market in particular contributing to this success. So far this year, the first
half has continued this progress with the entire business reporting 16% growth on the year and the
Fabrics business showing an impressive 28% sales uplift.
“These extremely positive results have given us even more confidence in the potential of
Liberty as a global brand. For this reason, all of the company’s profits have been and will be
reinvested in the company to enable its further growth.”
– Marco Capello; Managing Partner, BlueGem Capital Partners LLP
This commitment from the shareholders has funded a £4m investment plan including £1.2m on a
major renovation and expansion project adding over 2,400 sq ft of retail space. The first part of
the project is due to be completed mid-October 2011 and will add five beauty treatment rooms, a
personal shopping department and eventually a hair salon and a rooftop bar. The second part of the
project, due to be completed at the end of March 2012, involves a major expansion of the ground
floor by over 600 sq ft to house a further six bag brands and eight new jewellery brands expanding
Liberty’s authority in both categories. An additional entrance on the corner of Kingly Street and
Little Marlborough Street will be added allowing customers direct access to the new Jewellery and
Voted ‘Shop of the Year’ by Time Out for the past two years running, an integral part of
Liberty’s success and unique selling point has been backing British creativity, brands and
craftsmanship. Throughout its history Liberty has sourced, supported and showcased the best of
British design and a return to the grassroots ethos of the Liberty business has enabled it to
continue to offer customers unique and desirable products as well as boost sales. The acquisition
of Christys’ demonstrates Liberty’s commitment to supporting British heritage brands while
presenting them in innovative ways to create new opportunities for growth.
Posted on October 13, 2011
Source: Liberty Ltd.