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Christopher Kane at PPR Rumors

Christopher Kane For PPR? Not So Fast

PPR's executive team is having discussions about backing a new brand, but it's not known yet who the lucky designer to join the fashion conglomerate will be.

"We have been talking about investing in a new luxury name," said PPR CEO Francois-Henri Pinault in an interview with the Financial Times. "We have no more young brands since Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney have all passed the €100 million mark (just over $132 million at current exchange)."

When PPR makes an acquisition, Pinault said, it usually tries to break into an area where it's underrepresented. For example, the firm recently purchased Qeelin, a Hong Kong jewelry operation. Before that, Boucheron was the only jewelry unit in PPR's luxury portfolio. Pinault also made it clear that PPR "will not buy a promising brand and try to move it into another sector."

And though there has been speculation that PPR has been in talks with Christopher Kane, the firm's method of buying new brands would suggest that his label might not be the right fit. Kane's product is certainly different from other PPR brands. But as far as his business model is concerned, Kane's brand is a smaller, younger version of what PPR already has in its stable. Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen all offer high-end women's clothing — even around the same price point — and all three brands speak to a modern British design sensibility. If PPR did invest in Kane, it would be at odds with how Pinault has described his brand-buying methods.

Still, this hasn't stopped industry observers from honing in on Kane as a possible contender for PPR's investment. He's been a free agent since he left his position as the creative director of Versace's Versus line to focus on his own brand last month. Kane was even mentioned as a possible replacement for Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga.

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