Everyone has heard of Gucci, but what is Kering? It’s the company name invented four years ago by French billionaire Francois Pinault, to hold his portfolio of luxury-goods brands. That includes Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Brioni, Bottega Veneta, and Boucheron. The company has revenues of €15.5-billion, employs more than 40,000 people, and is valued by the market at €58-billion. It used to be called Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, or PPR.
Pinault managed to grab control of Gucci in 2004 after a five-year battle with his arch-rival, Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Gucci has enjoyed a remarkable revival in recent years, since Marco Bizzarri was appointed as CEO. He gave the 97-year-old brand an electric shock. He ended all markdowns, launched cross-gender collections, unified fashion shows, and banned the use of fur. Most importantly, he appointed Alessandro Michele as creative director. He’s the genius that launched the new “geek chic” look.
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