The Lux List / Business of Luxury

Brand Divestitures from Kering Group and LVMH – Christopher Kane and Edun

Brand Divestitures from Kering and LVMH point to greater competition as the fight for eyes and wallets heats up in the fashion eCommerce arena.

Jun 28, 2018 | By Jonathan Ho

Christopher Kane

More brand divestitures have been announced by Kering Group and LVMH as competition between the two luxury behemoths heats up. Kering Group is divesting their 51% majority shares of Christoper Kane back to the designer and LVMH is dropping Edun, the socially driven brand founded by Ali Hewson and husband, U2 frontman, Bono.

Brand Divestitures from Kering Group and LVMH – Christopher Kane and Edun

Making his debut in 2006, Christopher Kane shot to popularity for his strong silhouettes and aesthetic textures with strongly feminine elements. By 2013, Kane sold 51% of his brand to Kering Group, setting the young design talent and L’Oreal award winner during his pre-graduate days at Central Saint Martins in London unto a path of global retail and recognition.

Founded in 2004 with an ethical mission in mind, Edun, rode acclaim and accolades for its mission to bring sustainable development in Africa by connecting primary agriculture industry with fashion manufacturing. For years, Hewson and Bono’s Edun worked to connect Northwest Uganda cotton farmers with the associated industry of fashion.  By 2009, LVMH acquired a 49% stake in the label.

This week, (June 25th), Kering and LVMH both announced brand divestitures – with Kering in talks to sell its 51% back to its namesake designer; and LVMH, announcing its transfer of its 49% stake back to Hewson and Bono. Privately, Edun employees were aware of the brand’s dissolution since May with its sole Lafayette Street brand boutique in Manhattan, closed, and Edun’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection serving as its last.

Business of Luxury: Brand Divestitures from the conglomerates are a sign of increasing competition and brand focus on eCommerce

Increasingly, Kering has focused on luxury brand Gucci — the group’s undisputed cash cow thanks in part to Alessandro Michele’s exquisite take on streetwear and her ability to ride the hautebeast phenomena as well as the recent success of Balenciaga, a comparatively small brand which has recently captured the cultural and fashion zeitgeist with luxuriously ironic takes of low end bags and their larger than life sneakers. Kering Group recently appointed ex-Céline ready-to-wear director Daniel Lee as the new creative director of Bottega Veneta, replacing Tomas Maier, largely recognised as keeping the brand contemporary and trend-resistant the past 17 years.

In May, LVMH began backing fashion eCommerce giant Lyst. The online fashion giant counting Farfetch and MatchesFashion.com as its direct competitors, with LVMH raising between  £50m and £100 million. Before that, LVMH also launched 24 Sevres, its own multi-brand shopping site, with rival luxury group Richemont acquiring rival platform, Yoox Net-A-Porter.

In a statement to UK’s The Guardian by Lyst co-founder and CEO Chris Morton, “Today 60% of our business comes from the US, and we’re planning to expand into Europe and Asia in the next 18 months.”

 


 
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