ASB MAGAZINE: According to reports in the Australian Financial Review, Dare Jennings has sold his stake in Deus Ex Machina and whilst the investment may be private, there is also a professional element at play. Federico Minoli – former chief executive of Swiss luxury fashion house Bally and former chief and chairman of Ducati, a man who helped shape the fortunes of companies from Benetton to Woolrich – quietly replaced Jennings on the ASIC register as Deus Ex Machina’s new CEO. Minoli has been part of the Deus for a while. He and his cousin, Filippo Bassoli, were the ones who took Deus into Milan in 2013. According to AFR, Minoli has organised what he calls a “group of friends, primarily around my family”, to invest their own money into buying a majority interest in Deus so that the brand can change gears up a level.
Deus now includes Bassoli, who’s now chief of Deus Milan, and Santiago Fallonier, a Milanese restaurateur. There’s son Ottavio Missoni, Masaki Kato of Japan’s Jack of all Trades, a fashion distributor that’s taken more than 30 labels from Australia, France, Germany and the UK into Japan. And there’s Antonio Belloni, group managing director of the world’s largest luxury company, LVMH (and also Minoli’s cousin). Together they’ve bought 60 per cent of Deus, pouring in $11 million plus more for working capital. All are passionate about motorbikes and Deus Milan. “We are all from Gallarate, which is a small town outside Milano,” Minoli told AFR. “We have known each other forever; the Missonis were our next-door neighbors – back before they became famous – in the ’50s and ’60s.”
“We have known each other forever; the Missonis were our next-door neighbors – back before they became famous – in the ’50s and ’60s.” Federico Minoli
While the consortium’s commitment is modest, Jennings says there’s $5 million in working capital for immediate growth plans.
Jennings co-founded Mambo in 1984 and sold to Gazal Corporation in 2000 for $25 million. And Deus is very much the son of Mambo. Indeed the creative genius behind the Deus, Carby Tuckwell, describes himself as a “child of Mambo”. Tuckwell, 45, started out making Mambo knock-offs in the bucolic NSW surf town of Lennox Head.
Source AFR Photo: Dare Jennings & Matt Hoy at the Deus Sanbah POP up store.