DIFFICULTIES encountered in registering the Isola swimwear brand internationally, and notably in the US, prompted Seafolly, now majority owned by LVMH subsidiary L Capital Asia, to return the rights to the label to its founder, model and actress Megan Gale who is also the brand’s creative director. This year, the label booked orders worth AUD 4m from around 100 stores in Australia. Seafolly CEO Anthony Halas explained: “Under our new partnership [with L Capital], we need brands with a global reach. We had issues with the trademarking of the Isola brand internationally, so sadly we have made the decision to discontinue that relationship.” Halas added that the group is considering buying or starting a new brand to compensate for lost Isola sales. For her part, Megan Gale has yet to make a decision regarding the future of her label but says she has received many offers from potential partners. For the time being, Ms Gale is taking a break of indefinite length from the label but has assured all concerned that the range would return at some time in the future.
The trademarking problems that prompted Seafolly’s decision are likely to discourage some other major global players from developing the brand. But, even without the US, there are enough potential world markets to provide considerable potential for expansion.