"Supporting talent and encouraging creativity are part and parcel of the Kering vision, as expressed in our signature ‘Empowering Imagination’." François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering.
Giving promising talent a chance
Through the ‘Empower Talents’ programme, launched in 2013 in partnership with Vogue Italia , Kering is offering internship opportunities in a wide variety of functions in the luxury industry; Vogue Italia is assisting in the selection of profiles of talented candidates. In September 2016, Kering and Vogue Italia renewed the Empower Talents programme, looking for people with imagination and audacity, who like challenges, to provide them, in addition to a professional apprenticeship, an immersive relationship within Kering’s luxury brands.
As an official partner of the ANDAM (National Association for the Development of the fashion Arts) Fashion Award since 2014, Kering is proud to support the new talents who will shape tomorrow’s fashion industry. As well as giving the winners worldwide visibility and the means to ensure their development, the prize gives them a foothold in the official Paris Fashion Week calendar.
Once a year in the US Kering and Parsons ‘Empowering Imagination’ competition engage talented graduates of the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program who are selected for their excellence in vision, acute awareness in design identity, and mastery of technical competencies. A panel of fashion insiders selects two winners based on the conceptual vision and creativity of their thesis collections, as well as their technical skills and ability to communicate the unique point of view behind the collection. In June 2016, both winners of the fifth ‘Empowering Imagination’ enjoyed a fantastic 2-week learning expedition to several Kering facilities in Italy.
We take great steps to preserve craftsmanship and ensure that traditional know-how is passed on to younger generations.
Several of our brands support a pool of highly skilled craft workers and provide training programs. We have also founded a number of technical schools – to instruct craftsmanship without compromise, and to guarantee employment in their respective regions.
The Brioni Scuola di Alta Sartoria, for example, teaches the Brioni tailoring method through a rigorous three-year course plus a year’s practice inside the ateliers. More than 100 tailors graduated from the school work today within the company in specialised departments and all over the world at Brioni stores.
Two other schools within Kering have the same objective. These are the Bottega Veneta Scuola Della Pelletteria, and the Alta Scuola di Pelleteria, which Gucci helped found and whose president is one of the senior Gucci executives.
Supporting talent outside the Group
Since 2014, Kering has established a partnership with the Tsinghua University Education Foundation to support Chinese talent via two core programmes:
- Artistic Innovation Studio: enhances students’ understanding of the art business and helps them to develop their own creative studios
- Female support programme: provides ten outstanding female students with financial support through scholarships and grants.
Last but not least, every year, HEC Paris, offers students - coming from 14 countries and academic and professional backgrounds as varied as finance, engineering, beauty and cosmetics, and media - a certificate course in luxury, in partnership with Kering. Through its class seminars, case studies, store visits and presentations, this six-week programme is an intensive immersion course in the rarefied world of luxury. Regardless of their future roles, everyone who took the Luxury Certificate leaves with a behind-the-scenes understanding of a closely guarded industry. For the course is itself a luxury - an exclusive invitation into the real-life workings of the Kering Group.