Italian teen fashion brand Subdued raises $115.5m from Nuo

Nuo, an investment vehicle backed by Italy's Exor and Hong Kong's Pao family provided €70m ($115.5m) in development capital to Subdued, a Rome-based contemporary fashion brand targeting teenagers. The investment aims to strengthen Subdued's footprint in Europe, enhance its digital capabilities, and expand its reach overseas, with a focus on the growing Gen Alpha consumer base.

While Gen Zers have been a significant driver for the fashion industry in recent years, this acquisition suggests that companies are also starting to pay attention to the upcoming Gen Alpha as a key target market.

Transaction snapshot

  • Deal value: €70m ($115.5m)
  • Deal multiples: N/A
  • Deal type: Minority stake acquisition
  • Investors: Nuo (Exor and The World-Wide Investment Company Ltd.)

Founded in the early 1990s by Enrico Maria Sconciaforni and Alessandro Orsini, Subdued has built its reputation on offering trend-driven, affordable clothing and accessories to teenagers. The brand's unique selling proposition includes graphic T-shirts, denim, beachwear, and accessories.

In 2023, Subdued reported consolidated sales of €120 million, a 30% year-over-year increase, with about half of the revenues generated abroad. The brand operates 85 flagships across Italy, Spain, France, the U.K., and the DACH and Benelux regions. It follows a strict direct-to-consumer model with a dedicated Ecommerce site.

Nuo CEO Tommaso Paoli praised Subdued's cofounders for their leadership skills and ability to swiftly interpret and deliver on teenage fashion trends. The brand's current time to market is just seven days, thanks to suppliers located in Italy and Turkey.

Subdued started its international expansion in 2013 after gaining a cult following in Italy. Between 2022 and 2023, the brand opened three stores in the U.K., with a fourth set to open by the end of April. The company plans to open its first physical store in China and launch a dedicated Ecommerce site in the U.S. by early fall, with a brick-and-mortar debut in the U.S. planned for early 2025.

Sconciaforni believes Nuo's structure will be pivotal in advancing Subdued's growing business operations, such as human resources and logistics.

Nuo, established in 2016, focuses on long-term private equity investments in Italian mid-sized companies with global growth potential, particularly in the Asian market. The investment vehicle has made other acquisitions in the fashion space, including sportswear brand Montura and ready-to-wear company Slowear.

Back to blog