Since its creation in 1963, the Group has continually developed and evolved, ultimately becoming a pure player in Luxury in 2018. Kering is still growing today thanks to the expertise and inspiration of the Houses and the boldly creative and authentic worlds they have fashioned over more than two centuries. Kering’s identity today is the result of this unique history.
Jean-François Bautte creates his watch and jewelry company in Geneva. The exceptional quality of his work will soon be renowned throughout Europe, Middle East and also China. In 1906, it merges with the Haute Horlogerie Manufacture Girard-Perregaux of La Chaux-de-Fonds, whose masterpiece, the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, was to become and still is today an icon in high-end watchmaking.
Ulysse Nardin founds the luxury watchmaker that bears his name in Le Locle, Switzerland. There begins a journey guided by an innovative, avant-garde spirit, where watches are crafted with the latest technologies and materials.
Frédéric Boucheron opens his first shop in the Galerie de Valois, under the arcades of the Palais Royal, the heart of the Parisian world of Luxury at that time. The Boucheron House quickly gains a reputation for its unique knowledge in the creation of luxury jewelry and watches and for its skill in heightening the sparkle of precious stones. In 1893, Boucheron became the first jeweler to set up shop on Place Vendôme.
Cristóbal Balenciaga founds the Balenciaga House in San Sebastian, Spain. Twenty years later, Balenciaga opened his House in Paris and henceforth will occupy a special place in the world of Haute Couture.
Guccio Gucci opens a small leather goods shop in Florence. The House rapidly comes to embody the quintessence of Italian Luxury based on two founding values: superb Italian craftsmanship combined with a very contemporary creative vision. The refinement of the equestrian world is a particular source of inspiration for Gucci, and the Bamboo bag featuring a polished bamboo handle soon becomes one of its most popular creations.
Brioni is founded in Rome. The House is renowned for its excellent tailors. Brioni makes its mark by staging the first men’s fashion show, in 1952, and by introducing bold colors and modern fabrics into its collections. The timeless elegance, rigorous craftsmanship, and precise tailoring of its clothing make the brand a reference in the world of men’s luxury.
In July, Yves Saint Laurent founds his own House with Pierre Bergé on Rue La Boétie in Paris. With its immediately recognizable style, the House will become one of the 20th-century’s most renowned fashion brands.
François Pinault founds Établissements Pinault, a timber trading company, in Rennes. Following multiple acquisitions in its sector, the rapidly successful company is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1988. The group’s first strategic move comes in 1990 with its diversification into specialized retail distribution. Its focus will then shift to the luxury industry in the late 1990s.
Bottega Veneta is founded in Vicenza, in line with the long-standing tradition of Italian leather craftsmanship. The remarkable leather-weave known as intrecciato soon becomes the brand’s trademark. Bottega Veneta’s philosophy is based on a discreet, unique, and personalized aesthetic.
Pino Rabolini, a descendant of a family of goldsmiths, creates Pomellato in Milan with the visionary idea of bringing the ready-to-wear concept to the world of jewelry. The House’s bold creativity and instantly recognizable style is apparent in its array of stones, shapes, and colors.
The Pinault Group is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. After acquiring Le Printemps and an equity stake in La Redoute, it becomes Pinault Printemps Redoute in 1994. The company’s name is changed to PPR in 2005.
Lee Alexander McQueen, a graduate of the prestigious St. Martin's College of Art and Design in London and whose graduation show was highly praised, creates his fashion House in the heart of the British capital. The brand quickly becomes admired for its conceptual designs, strong identity, and unbridled creativity.
Pomellato broadens its brand universe by revealing a new jewelry concept called “DoDo”: affordable pieces of jewelry created with a single gram of gold that combine symbols to tell stories. Each one is a miniature masterpiece that conveys a message of love, luck, freedom, and friendship.
PPR begins its transformation into a Luxury group by purchasing a 42% stake in the Gucci Group.
Acquisition of French legendary Fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent.
Acquisition of the high jewelry house, Boucheron.
Acquisition of Italian high-end leather goods house, Bottega Veneta.
Acquisition of iconic luxury fashion House, Balenciaga. Since October 2015, Demna Gvasalia, appointed artistic director of Balenciaga’s collections, continues to uphold the vision, influence and radical style of the House.
Signature of a partnership agreement with the Alexander McQueen House.
Creation of the Qeelin House. Drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese culture, Qeelin transforms mythological symbols into contemporary jewelry full of meaning. For example, its Bo Bo Collection features a diamond-studded, fully articulated, and playfully interpreted version of China’s national treasure, the panda.
François-Henri Pinault replaces Serge Weinberg as Chairman and CEO of PPR, which he transforms into a global luxury group by progressively selling the Group’s other activities and acquiring iconic luxury Houses.
Francois-Henri Pinault creates the Kering Foundation. Its mission is to combat violence against women through three main types of actions: support of NGOs and social entrepreneurs, training programs, and campaigns to raise public awareness.
After a minority participation in 2008, Kering acquires the Swiss Haute Horlogerie Manufacture Girard-Perregaux.
Acquisition of legendary Italian luxury house, Brioni.
PPR changes its name to Kering and adopts a new visual identity embodied in a new logo – an owl, a symbol of wisdom, protection, and foresight – and a signature that conveys its approach: Empowering Imagination.
Acquisition of Chinese fine jewelry brand, Qeelin.
Acquisition of Pomellato and DoDo, among the most beautiful and innovative jewelry brands in the world for their Italian unconventional style and design.
Acquired by Kering in 2014, the Haute Horlogerie manufacture Ulysse Nardin in Le Locle, Switzerland creates innovative timepieces for free spirits. Ulysse Nardin’s longstanding history with navies and nautical equipment as well as its pioneering engineering, most notably with Silicium, has brought it to the forefront of luxury watchmaking.
Kering creates the high-end eyewear entity Kering Eyewear. The Group will manage the design, development, and distribution of Eyewear collections for Gucci, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Alaïa, Courrèges, Montblanc, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, McQ, Puma.
Kering publishes its first Environmental Proﬁt & Loss account (EP&L), a pioneering tool to measure in monetary terms the environmental impact of the Group’s activities. By sharing its methodology from the start with all its stakeholders, the Group hopes to encourage others to learn from such an approach and pave the way for new possibilities.
In partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, Kering launches Women in Motion, a unique program to showcase women’s contributions to the film industry. Through talks, awards, and various events, Women in Motion has become part of the festival’s official program and is having a worldwide impact.
Kering installs its new headquarters at 40, rue de Sèvres, in Paris. They are housed in the former Laennec Hospital, a historic landmark that has been given a second life following extensive renovation. The setting offers a unique and harmonious work environment conducive to creativity, where past and present respectfully coexist. During European Heritage Days, 40, rue de Sèvres is open to the public. Visitors can discover creations from the Balenciaga House archives and works of art from the Pinault Collection.
Kering establishes a minimum of 14 weeks’ maternity or adoption leave on full pay for all Group employees the world over. The Group strengthens its Parental Policy in 2019 by extending these measures to paternity and partner leave.
As Boucheron’s 160th anniversary approaches, Kering begins renovating 26 Place Vendôme. Frédéric Boucheron chose the House’s historic location in 1893, making him the first of the great contemporary jewelers to open a boutique on Place Vendôme. The project is led by the Chief Architect for Historical Monuments and aims to highlight the architecture of this partly listed building. Boucheron celebrates the reopening of its iconic boutique in January 2019.
Saint Laurent moves its headquarters and showrooms to 37, rue de Bellechasse in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, marking a return to the House’s origins. Its first ready-to-wear boutique opened in nearby 21, rue de Tournon in 1966. The site earns a double environmental certification in compliance with requirements for heritage buildings and sustainability.
Kering opens its new Italian headquarters in Milan, at 91 Via Mecenate. With its high-performance LED systems and green spaces equipped with rain-sensor irrigation the building is a showcase for sustainability.