With slowing sales across its entire brand portfolio, world’s third largest luxury group, Kering, has appointed new CEOs in less than 2 days, at four of its brands: Bottega Veneta (new CEO Carlo Alberto Beretta), Brioni (new CEO Gianluca Flore), Christopher Kane (new CEO Sarah Crook). The new appointments come as a surprise, given that Bottega Veneta has been, for the past 4 years, the only Kering Group brand with solid double digit growth, year on year.
Brioni’s new CEO Gianluca Flore comes from Bottega Veneta where he served as Worldwide Commercial Director, another unexpected move, given that most such appointments are made at the same ranking.Sarah Crook, the new CEO at Christopher Kane, worked as a consultant to the British Fashion Council.
The replacement of Tomas Maier as Creative Director of Bottega Veneta is also imminent, the first signs being confirmed with Kering taking a stake in Maier’s company who is developing his own ”affordable luxury”’ label.
Kering has been focusing its strategy on revive Brioni, which it acquired 2 years ago, by aggressively expanding its retail network, doubling the number of mono-brand stores globally. After increasing retail exposure and cancelling the women’s line, Kering’s new appointment shows confidence in Brioni’s turnaround through accessoriess, especially leatherwear.
Although entirely justified, Kering has been more hesitant with such new appointments at Gucci, once the best performing brand of the group, today, reporting dramatic sales drops. This is due to the fact that Gucci CEO, Patrizio di Marco (ex Bottega Veneta) is married to Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini.
In a statement to CPP-LUXURY.COM by Kering’s Paul Michon Corporate Information Director said:
“The replacement of Tomas Maier as Creative Director of Bottega Veneta” is not at all “imminent”: there is absolutely no such plan. The fact that a designer owns his own label in addition to being creative director of a bigger brand is, as you know, not unusual at all in the luxury industry” Writing about “dramatic sales drop” at Gucci is totally excessive when you look at the figures published. By the way, as often stated by Kering’s chairman & CEO, the personal relationship between the designer and the CEO has never been taken into account in managerial decisions.
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