Connor McKnight Takes on Minority Partner – WWD

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Connor McKnight has a new partner.

The Loyalist has made “a sizable investment” in the buzzy Brooklyn-based brand, acquiring a minority stake in the company. Terms were not disclosed.

The Loyalist, founded by brothers Max and Xander Ritz in 2016, is an operating platform that provides emerging brands with services, technology and capital. The firm works with Morgan Stewart’s Renggli and Daniel Ricciardo’s Enchanté.

For Connor McKnight, the company will provide day-to-day support for the growing business through its brand operations platform, the company said.

“Since investing and integrating, The Loyalist has unlocked a lot of growth for us,” said McKnight. “We have unearthed additional revenue streams, like a new web experience and physical showroom in New York, and our production has been streamlined quite a bit. With greater confidence in our back-of-house, I’m incredibly excited to share the new line and scale our wholesale business.”

In December, McKnight opened a private client atelier and showroom in downtown Manhattan for bespoke customers and potential retail clients, and he will be showing his fall collection in Paris.

McKnight was nominated for the 2023 CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year award and his collection is sold at Ssense, Matches and other better specialty stores globally.

The brand will show in a solo capacity during Paris Men’s Fashion Week later this month. In June, McKnight brought a partial collection to the city that he showed in a shared showroom, but this marks the first time he will host an actual presentation. Although not on the official calendar, his presentation is slated for Jan. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 21 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie.

The goal of showing in Paris, the company said, is to attract international buyers, particularly those from Asia.

Born in Washington, D.C., McKnight studied fashion design at Parsons and launched his label in 2020 after stints at Kith and Bode.

A look from Connor McKnight’s spring 2024 collection.

Courtesy of Connor McKnight

When he was nominated for the CFDA Award last year, McKnight described his collection this way: “With each collection I explore various themes of Black life with an emphasis on emotion and vulnerability within the mundane. I feel that there is a lack of nuance in the perception of the Black experience, with an expectation that we will adhere to outdated and narrow definitions of Blackness. By highlighting the times in between, I hope to portray a more complete narrative of our lives and cultivate humanity toward our community. In the future, I’d like to see even more representation as I’m just one voice in a bigger conversation.”

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