Luxury giant PPR takes 51 percent stake in Christopher Kane

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Christopher Kane is one of fashion’s brightest young things and just after announcing the end of his collaboration with Versace on the Versus line at the end of 2012, many expected him to take the reins from Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. While that position was filled by Alexander Wang, the good news for fashionistas is that Christopher Kane isn’t going anywhere.

This new 51 percent investment by Balenciaga’s owner, PPR, shows a desire to take the Christopher Kane brand to the next level, with a flagship standalone store and a second line expected to be unveiled in 2014. 

PPR is effectively its hedging bets on Kane becoming the next Stella McCartney or Alexander McQueen. Both were labels run by critically acclaimed designers, but with fairly small revenues. Both have grown under PPR into globally successful fashion and lifestyle brands. 

“PPR understands and appreciates our creative independence, but at the same time has the experience and expertise to be able to help us grow our business globally,” Kane told WWD. 

Thirty-year-old Kane has been a favorite of the fashion world ever since his emergence from London’s famed Central Saint Martins design school. Alongside his own line, developed with his sister Tammy, the Scot has also turned his hand to denim with a collaboration with J. Brand, and worked on three highly successful collections for Topshop in 2007 to 2009. 

“In just a few years, he has built a very distinctive and exciting brand with a unique DNA,” said François-Henri Pinault, PPR’s chairman and CEO. “Christopher Kane is already established as a luxury label,” he added, leaving fashion fans eager to see how the label will develop under its new French investors.  

Kane has previously benefitted hugely by winning the Vogue/British Fashion Council Fashion Fund in 2011, which injected  £200,000 ($322,500) into his label and gave him access to select industry mentors to help to grow his brand.

Alongside the aforementioned trio of Balenciaga, McQueen and McCartney, PPR also owns French luxury label Saint Laurent and Italian brand Gucci. 

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