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The Kering Luxury Conglomerate

Kering Group is a French company with global operations that owns and operates various brands focusing on luxury goods. Through companies like Gucci, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen, the company sells apparel, accessories, jewelry, and other related products to a global consumer base. The company focuses on enabling its subsidiaries to act with creativity and modernity while also being mindful of their heritage, a strategy that is not uncommon for luxury brands. Kering is headquartered in Paris and is listed on the city’s Euronext Exchange.

Timber Trading and Expansion

What is today one of the largest luxury conglomerates in the world started down an unconventional path when compared to competitors like LVMH and Hermès. What is today the Kering Group was started by François Pinault as a timber trading company called Établissements Pinault in Rennes, France. The company quickly found success and made several acquisitions, rapidly expanding and eventually listing on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1988 under the name Pinault S.A.

Moving Into Luxury

It was after going public that the shift away from timber trading started in earnest after the company went public. François Pinault made several acquisitions of retail companies and department stores. Between 1999 and 2004, the transformation into a luxury conglomerate started to take place as the company acquired Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as signing several large partnerships. Pinault’s son, François-Henri, took over the reins of the company in 2005 and has served as its CEO and chairman since. Kering got its current name in 2013.

Further reading: Kering's Rise to Power: The Epic Battle for Gucci

The Brands

Kering operates a family of brands, including some of the most recognizable in the fashion industry. These companies, Gucci being a prime example, often have a long and storied history and incredibly strong brands and followings behind them. The company operates in the luxury sector, offering a variety of high-end products. Its portfolio includes fashion apparel for both men and women, covering a range from haute couture to ready-to-wear. In addition, the company produces leather goods like handbags, wallets, and luggage. Its product range also extends to footwear, fine jewelry, and watches. Besides LVMH, Richemont is a company that operates in a very similar fashion to Kering and its business model.