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2012 December 6

PPR's François-Henri Pinault Responds to Alexander Wang Hire

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(NEW YORK) With the recent news that Alexander Wang has been hired at Balenciaga, it was only a matter of time before PPR's Francois-Henri Pinault responded. The outcome? Pinault is putting his faith in Wang to focus on the American market, e-commerce, and the emerging markets in Brazil and China. During a recent Q&A with CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis, attended by WWD, Pinault provided some insights into all sorts of Wang-centric concerns; how, precisely, the exec family reins got handed over; and what's happening in PPR's orbit beyond its runway-strutting labels. Leave it to your Daily to decode!

Takeaway Un: Don't expect Balenciaga to become Wang's world.
“It was really [a matter of] let’s find the right talent, the right skills, the right profile for the reality of the brand. The brand has been built over the last 15 years with Nicolas. We don’t intend to change. It’s not a rupture. We plan to continue to build on what has been built by Nicolas.”

Takeaway Deux
: See takeaway une, s'il vous plaît.
“...The only thing people can look at is what has been done in the Alexander Wang brand. It has nothing do with what we are going to do with Balenciaga. You cannot judge from that. It’s a new challenge. It’s a new adventure for him. He has a great talent. I am pretty sure that we will demonstrate it. We did that with Nicolas when we started in 1997.”

Takeaway Trois: Papa Pinault wasn't burnt out, it was just time to pass the torch, chéris.
“He was 65 when he decided to give me the reins of the company, and not because he was feeling tired or whatever. He said, ‘You’re 40 years old. It’s time. It’s your time. Don’t pay any attention to me. I will find my way. If I were you at 40 years old, I would like to have the main job.’ And he gave me the keys, literally the keys to his office, and it was done.”

Takeaway Quatre: PPR's future, with its non-luxe brands like Puma, looks especially rugged and sporty.
“We have identified two key segments where we think there is potential worldwide — action sports, this was the reason for acquiring Volcom [last year], and the other one is outdoor. We want to grow Volcom internationally. It is still a 75 percent American brand. Puma will do some outdoor things but it will never be the key category. Outdoor is a very big market segment and it combines technical and lifestyle.”




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