London and Paris–PPR, the French luxurygoods conglomerate behind Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, is beefing up its presence in British luxury brands. On Tuesday, PPR announced it had acquired a 51% stake in Christopher Kane, the London-based, Scottish-born designer brand considered a rising star in British fashion.
PPR already has a tradition of investing in smaller, higher-end British brands such as Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Terms of the investment were undisclosed as is the annual sales volume at Christopher Kane, but PPR said Kane’s business was “profitable.”
“This new partnership with Christopher Kane is a testament to our desire to work with and support new creative talent,” said Alexis Babeau, managing director of PPR’s luxury division.
Kane founded his brand along with his sister Tammy Kane in 2006 upon his graduation from Central Saint Martin’s College, London. In the years since, Kane’s brand has become known for its inventive and imaginative fashion, offering classic yet subtly daring designs. Originally focused on ready-to-wear for women, the brand expanded into menswear in 2010. It sells across the world and has enjoyed successful collaborations with brands such as Versace, Versus, J Brand, Topshop, Swarovski and Shiseido.
‘We Have Great Ambitions for the Brand’
While collaborating with Versace to produce a capsule collection of accessories for the Versus brand in 2009, Donatella Versace compared Kane to her late brother Gianni Versace.
Christopher Kane now has 26 employees but that number will likely increase with PPR which plans to accelerate the brand’s expansion and boosting it to the next level. Given PPR’s strength in luxury accessories from Gucci, Bottega Veneta and its other brands, more accessories will likely be expanded in the Christopher Kane brand. A freestanding store also is planned.
“Christopher is a truly great talent who has shown a real sense of modernity in the way he mixes elegance and subtle constructions,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman/ceo at PPR. “In just a few years he has built a very distinctive and exciting brand with a unique DNA. I am delighted that Christopher Kane is joining PPR’s portfolio of luxury brands and working with us to further develop his business as a global luxury brand. Christopher Kane is already established as a luxury label and has a tremendous intrinsic growth potential. We thus have great ambitions for the brand and will enable it to benefit from our expertise and know-how while providing the space for it to further develop its own creative identity.”
Added Christopher Kane” “We are very excited and honored to be partnering with PPR for the next stage of development for our brand. PPR have an incredible reputation for building some of the very best luxury brands in the world. They respect our creative vision and they have the expertise and experience to help us build the Christopher Kane brand globally.”