Bolongaro Trevor has received a six-figure investment from a Middle Eastern business, which intends to expand the contemporary brand in the UK and move it into the Middle East and US.
Brothers Muhammad Arshad Jalil and Omar Jalil, who bought 50% of Bolongaro Trevor in December, own several companies in Asia and the Middle East, including aviation, fuel and IT businesses.
Bolongaro Trevor was founded in 2006 by Kait Bolongaro and her husband, All Saints founder Stuart Trevor. However, Hoxton Trading, which traded as Bolongaro Trevor, was declared insolvent by insolvency practitioner David Rubin at the end of September 2014.
Following the investment, the business now intends to open five to 10 UK stores. Bolongaro told Drapers: “We are looking for the right stores and the right deal. Starting this month we are looking at locations like the Trafford Centre or Westfield London. We really want to build the brand profile now.”
She added that the investors’ contacts in the Middle East will open doors internationally.
“They have links in the Middle East and they want to bring the brand to a different audience. They are looking at developing franchise stores in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The continued investment also gives us the option to expand into the US if a retail store chain becomes available. It would be a quick expansion route.”
Bolongaro Trevor has three stores in London and one in Leeds. It closed a store in Spitalfields, east London, late last year.
Muhammad Arshad Jalil said: “We have invested in Bolongaro Trevor because we appreciate Kate and Stuart’s innovative designs and we hope to grow the brand with their professional expertise, competence and skills. Besides our financial investment as a value add-on we will assist in the sourcing and expansion of the stores on an international scale.”
Bolongaro Trevor blamed an unhappy relationship with its partner and supplier The Fielding Group for its financial problems last year. Following a deal with Fielding in February 2011, the company was restructured as Hoxton Trading. Fielding itself went into administration on June 24.
In August 2014, shortly before the firm was declared insolvent, Trevor expressed fear that it faced a “hostile takeover” by IPGL, a privately held investment company chaired by former Conservative Party treasurer Michael Spencer. He claimed IPGL made an 11th-hour withdrawal from a £2.5m investment deal to buy Bolongaro Trevor in July, leaving the company vulnerable.