Christopher Kane To Take Back Control From Kering: Is This a Brexit Metaphor Asks Tamara Cincik.
First Stella McCartney, now Christopher Kane looks set to become the second British designer to leave the stable of parent company Kering and buy back the 51% of shares they currently own. The French luxury group said on Thursday after market close, that it is in talks with Christopher Kane for a sale of the eponymous brand back to the designer, which Kering only bought five years ago, itself a mere seven years since Christopher Kane launched the brand with his sell-out neon dress collection at LFW. Kane famously worked at Versus under Donatella Versace, yet in recent years his glamazon brand identity has changed tack with each season, with some arguing that the Christopher Kane accessories and catwalk shows each season lack a clear focus and are not being sought out by the consumer at his Mount Street Store or across the world markets. “Christopher only sells to 8 customers,’ one anonymous source told Fashion Roundtable recently.
Analysts says that Kering prefers to focus its attention on brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga that have greater growth potential. Overall, the group recorded €15.5bn revenues and €2.95bn operating profit in 2017. It will report its half-year results next month.
“Christopher Kane and Kering wish to continue to collaborate with the aim of achieving a gradual and harmonious transition,” the company said.
Kering intends to list the stake under “non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations” in its half-yearly accounts to June 30, to be published July 26.
With Puma being sold back to its German brand owner, this cannot be simply seen through the lense of Brexit, with the potential loss to Brand Britain, which we at Fashion Roundtable have been lobbying on with our Brexit and the Implications to the Fashion Industry Report. However, with concerns of a No Deal Brexit becoming ever more likely according to Michel Barnier, we do have to be alert to the residual loss to reputation of UK brands as global players.
“Brexit affects the cool British message no question,“ says Bev Malik, Fashion Roundtable’s Retail Expert.
Brand Britain does hold a certain pair of aces. A mere two months after Stella bought back from Kering the 50% shres they owned of her eponymous brand, on May 19th, a certain newly married Duchess of Sussex strode out of Windsor Castle in glorious sunlight and into another great British brand, a E’Type Jaguar, in a Stella McCartney floor length halter neck crepe white evening dress. The Brand Britain buying power of the Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex alone are an estimated £1,bn each. Markle's Stella McCartney evening gown has increased "halterneck dresses" searches by 40 per cent and "halterneck tops" by 21 per cent after the royal wedding, according to Lyst. Meghan Markle is estimated to boost UK fashion by £1bn making particular in-roads into the US market according to analysts. The Duchess of Cambridge already generates £1bn fashion business. These women will do so much over the next decade, to build UK fashion brands and exports, particularly relevant as the UK leaves the EU (their largest trading partner).