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When Fashion Went to Hollywood

There’s significant upside for big talent agencies, like François-Henri Pinault’s CAA, in hoovering up smaller agencies that specialize in image-making.
There’s significant upside for big talent agencies, like CAA, in hoovering up smaller agencies that specialize in image-making. Photo: Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic
Lauren Sherman
January 11, 2024

As Hollywood descended on the Golden Globes last weekend, it was impossible to ignore the chatter, suddenly widespread in Los Angeles, that CAA was allegedly in talks to acquire Art Partner, arguably the most important agency representing image-makers—photographers, art directors, fashion stylists, hair stylists, and makeup artists. The rumor had a certain irresistible logic: The worlds of entertainment and fashion are quickly uniting, and folding Art Partner into CAA, whose majority shareholder is now Kering C.E.O. François-Henri Pinault, would bring them even closer together.

The speculation in Paris, according to people close to Art Partner co-founder Giovanni Testino, was that he has been angling to do a deal with Pinault for some time, and has been priming the agency for more than two years in anticipation of a sale. (Testino did not respond to a request for comment, nor did a rep for Pinault.) The problem with this theory, however, is that CAA higher-ups say it’s all nonsense—that there have been no discussions, and that they have no idea where the rumor is coming from. Indeed, the company recently endured two significant transactions: the acquisition of ICM and, of course, the deal with Pinault.