herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bono and Ali's Edun range loses another €5m

Losses continued to mount last year at the ethical clothing company founded by Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson.

New figures lodged with the Companies Office show that Edun Apparel Ltd recorded a loss of $6.4m (€4.87m) in the 12 months to the end of last December.

That loss followed others of $7.88m (€6m) in 2012 and $8.5m (€6.47m) in 2011.

The pair established the global fashion brand in 2005 in an effort to bring about positive change through its trading relationship with Africa and its positioning as a creative force in contemporary fashion.

In spite of the losses, the couple state in their directors' report that they "are very satisfied with progress during the year, which was in line with the (Five Year) Strategic Business Plan projections".

The directors state that "the company is currently in investment phase and has made much progress in building its supply chain, brand, marketing materials and retail partnerships, as well as the implementation of its mission".

The report outlines that Bono, Ali and the firm's other directors "are confident that the company is continuing its development strategy of building the 'Edun' and 'Edun Live' brands and increasing the profitability of the company by improving margin and market share".

complicated

In an interview last year, Bono said: "The fashion business makes the music business look like a cake-walk. It is complicated.

"Ali has got incredible stamina. I walk a little different when I see the bills and we have haemorrhaged cash, but you know, because of U2's success . . . we can afford to lose . . . I'm hoping that that is not ongoing."

Edun appointed celebrated designer Danielle Sherman as its new creative director last year, and Bono said: "She is a genius. She is an amazing girl and I think she is going to take things on to the next level."

Accumulated losses at the firm total $60.95m, and figures show that its shareholders - Bono, Ali Hewson and the world's largest luxury goods group, LVMH - further propped it up with an additional $17.62m in loans last year, bringing the total to €71.68m in shareholder loans.

The firm's cash pile during the year increased from $596,408 to $2m. LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon, owns 49pc of Edun Apparel.

Bono and Ali have featured in Vuitton's Core Values atmospheric advertising campaign, with the two wearing Edun clothing in Africa.

hnews@herald.ie

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