The House of Gucci Gets a Tickle

François-Henri Pinault is not traditionally a micromanager, but has become much more involved in day-to-day decision-making at individual brands in recent months.
François-Henri Pinault is not traditionally a micromanager, but has become much more involved in day-to-day decision-making at individual brands in recent months. Photo Credit: Ludovic Marin/AFP
Lauren Sherman
July 31, 2023

As expected, the big European groups raced to get things done before the summer holidays commenced this week: there were deals, there were earnings reports, there were parties. I was bracing for a Sunday morning designer appointment announcement, but I guess everyone really does need a break. 

What to make of it all? The biggest story of the month, of course, has been Kering and its quest to regain momentum after tough years at both Gucci and Balenciaga. Following that wild executive shakeup, which I’m tracking closely, was the surprise news that the group would be acquiring a 30 percent, €1.7 billion stake in Valentino with an option to buy it outright by 2028. (Valentino is currently owned by the Qataris through investment firm Mayhoola.) Big picture, this deal makes sense for all the reasons I outlined last week. Valentino is one of the most well-known luxury brands in the world; with a recapitalization of this magnitude, and the support of Kering’s existing infrastructure, it could triple its sales volume over just a couple of years.