The two large French luxury groups, LVMH and Kering, are actively purchasing young and promising fashion companies – the potential ‘money makers’ of (the day after) tomorrow. Nicholas Kirkwood, Maxime Simoëns, Joseph Altuzarra or Christopher Kane: names that probably only ring a bell with real fashionistas, but they have attracted the two giants’ attention anyway.
LVMH – Kering: 2 – 2
Last Friday LVMH purchased British Nicholas Kirkwood, a brand of ladies' shoes. The 33-year-old designer has won the British “Accessoires Designer of the Year” twice and his collection is currently available in some 150 department stores. LVMH had also previously bought a minority stake in 28-year-old French couturier Maxime Simoëns.
Great rival Kering has also started looking out for promising starters: last month, the company led by François-Henri Pinault purchased a minority stake in ready-to-wear brand Altuzarra, a New York company founded in 2008 by 30-year-old Joseph Altuzarra. Early 2013, Kering bought a 51 % stake in 30-year-old Christopher Kane’s company, a Scotsman trying to move his way up since 2006.
"We want to encourage them to push the boundaries of their creativity, while their brand can take advantage of LVMH’s expertise”, states Delphine Arnault, newly appointed executive vice-president of Louis Vuitton. The past has shown that this strategy is very effective as PPR (Kering’s previous name) purchased Stella McCartney, a brand that now has a turnover of more than 100 million euro. That is something both companies would obviously like to repeat.