It's official: PPR and Christopher Kane have confirmed that an agreement has been signed. According to a statement that popped into the Grazia Daily inbox, the French luxury conglomerate has acquired 51% of the Scot designer's eponymous label in order to 'develop the business'. The partnership will begin with the opening of a first stand-alone store in London next year as well as the implementation of a secondary ready-to-wear line.
It's hugely exciting news, not least because this is the first time that PPR have invested in a British designer brand since it acquired Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen in 2001 through the Gucci Group. It's proof of Kane's continuing brilliance and is a great coup for PPR. Congratulations all round!
'Christopher is a truly great talent who has shown a real sense of modernity in the way he mixes elegance and subtle constructions,' says François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of PPR. 'In just a few years, he has built a very distinctive and exciting brand with a unique DNA.' The Frenchman and husband to Salma Hayek added that the company has 'great ambitions for the brand and will enable it to benefit from our expertise and know-how while providing the space for it to further develop its own creative identity.'
As for Mr Kane, he sounds pretty chuffed with the deal: 'We are very excited and honoured to be partnering with PPR for the next stage of development for our brand. PPR have an incredible reputation for building some of the very best luxury brands in the world. They respect our creative vision and they have the expertise and experience to help us build the Christopher Kane brand globally.'
Christopher Kane Spring Summer 2013 show - 17 Sep 2012
Making his name instantly synonymous with the body-con look of 2006 with 'bandage' dresses that dazzled the front row with neon in his debut collection a mere six months after graduating from college, Christopher Kane has continued to keep the critics on his side by re-inventing his style every season since. While staying true to his formula of cutting close to the torso and favouring geometric panels of squares and rectangles plus a corset-cups as his motif, he has successfully experimented with new textile technology every collection. He credits this skill to help from his sister Tammy, with whom he runs his label. Like Miuccia Prada or Marc Jacobs, each collection this Scot produces is dramatically different from the last - though his fans love them all and anticipate each new season with suspense!
From a Scottish background, Kane has been in London since the age of 17 when he started at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, where he was to complete his Foundation, BA and MA courses. A Mozart-like degree of focus and success at a young age is a recurring theme in his story. The acclaim he has received for his collections has never been limited to London insiders, with both Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace having mentored and supported him, the latter appointing Kane as designer of the Versace second line called Versus, along with several successful collaborations with brands including J Brand, Topshop, Swarovski and Shiseido.
Meanwhile, PPR has a strong track record of backing rising designers and has enjoyed great success with brands from Alexander McQueen to Stella McCartney. The company will enable the CK brand to 'accelerate its expansion, by providing the support it needs to grow to the next level.' We. Can't. Wait.
Following the Kane x PPR news, the British Fashion Council has offered their congratulations to both parties. 'This morning’s announcement is great news for Christopher Kane and high end British designers alike,' says Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC. 'We have an incredible group of designers in London with the potential to become global brands of the future. Our hope is that this partnership signals confidence in British designer businesses and is the start of a series of new investments in the world’s most innovative talents.'