World renowned Italian fashion brand Valentino has been bought for a reported €700 million by Mayhoola, an investment group thought to be backed by the Qatari Royal family.
According to reports, the fashion house is the latest in a succession of famous Italian brands to become foreign-owned – and the second in two years to be purchased by Gulf investors.
In 2010 the Qatari Royal family bought prestigious department store Harrods from Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Industry experts believe that with prestigious Western fashion brands acquiring an ever-growing Middle Eastern clientele, it is a logical step for investors from that region to take ownership of them.
A spokesman for Mayhoola was quoted by the news agency Ansa as saying: ''Their ability to combine aesthetics and the values defined by [Valentino] with a sophisticated contemporary vision, has made the brand extremely relevant today.''
He added that the Qatari investment group saw Valentino as the ''ideal base for creating a broader presence in the luxury goods sector''.
The Valentino brand first gained prominence in the 1960s with gowns worn by Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn.