|Industry||Fashion design and retail|
|Number of locations||United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States|
|Key people||Linda Bennett|
|Owners||Phoenix Equity Partners/Sirius Equity (70%)
Linda Bennett (30%)
L.K.Bennett is an international luxury fashion brand, based in London, United Kingdom. Reflecting its modern British heritage, it has established itself as a leading British brand, offering collections of shoes, clothing, handbags and accessories.
Linda K Bennett
Linda Kristin Bennett (born 8 September 1964) is an English-Icelandic clothing designer and entrepreneur. The daughter of a London-based fashion retail entrepreneur, and an Icelandic sculptor mother, she grew up in North London, and was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls, Elstree and Reading University, where she read Land Management. She then trained as a cordwainer at Hackney’s Cordwainers College (now part of the London College of Fashion), and then working for French designer Robert Clergerie, before working on the sales floor of retailers Whistles and Joseph.
Bennett has been the recipient of several awards since founding the store chain, including: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Consumer Product category) in 2002; Best Women’s Footwear Retailer (UK Footwear Award) in 2003; Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year in 2004; Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur award in 2009. In 2004, Bennett was made an honorary fellow of the London College of Fashion, her alma mater, and she sits on the development council of the University of the Arts London, of which the London College of Fashion is a part. In 2006, Bennett was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the New Year Honours list.
Bennett set up the first L.K.Bennett shop in Wimbledon Village, with a goal to produce "something in-between the designer footwear you find in Bond Street and those on the high street”. Because of her equal emphasis on comfort and glamour, Bennett earned the nickname “Queen of the Kitten Heel”.
Since the opening of the original store, L.K.Bennett has expanded to become a renowned chain of shops, with 99 outlets in the UK. A boutique in Paris opened in 2000, and since stores and concessions have opened in Spain, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and the United States. There are currently 146 L.K.Bennett outlets globally, including in-store concessions in chians including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, John Lewis, Fenwick, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
In November 2004, Bennett appointed BDO Stoy Hayward to find strategic investors. She wanted to concentrate on design, handing over the daily management to someone else, while investment would also enable L.K.Bennett to expand abroad quicker. Bennett sold a 70% stake in the business in 2007 to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity, a retail and branded luxury goods investment company, in a deal believed to have netted her around £70m. Bennett remains on the board of the company as a non-executive director, and retains a stake of about 30 per cent.
Robert Bensoussan, co-founder of Sirius Equity, served as CEO of Jimmy Choo Ltd and managing director of Gianfranco Ferre and chief executive officer of Christian Lacroix. From September 2012 to February 2014, Didier Drouet, former Jimmy Choo boss was CEO.12 This resulted in Robert Bensoussan becoming Executive Chairman of this retail brand. In February 2014, Robert Bensoussan became CEO.
Annick Gorman was appointed to the position of creative director in December 2008, having previously held similar positions at Celine, Cacharel and Galeries Lafayette, she was instated to direct the brand's design philosophy.
- New Year Honours, Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2006
- Linda Bennett, queen of the kitten heel, walks tall among Britain's business leaders, The Independent, 30 April 2004
- Sole trader takes a step back, The Guardian, 21 November 2004
- Robert Bensoussan: In at the steep end, Retail Week, 20 February 2009
- Conti, Samantha (24 February 2014). "Robert Bensoussan Takes CEO Role at L.K. Bennett". WWD. Retrieved 24 February 2014.