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9 posts tagged "PPR"

A Wild Night In London, When Fashion’s Finest Party At The Zoo


While Americans were talking turkey over the weekend, the Brits had other animals in mind—like cheetahs, for example. They were among the guests (albeit caged) at a dinner and auction at one of the city’s more unusual party venues: the London Zoo. Proceeds from the evening, cohosted by sprinter Usain Bolt and PPR’s Jochen Zeitz, went to the Zoological Society of London and Zeitz’s own foundation.

In his off hours, Zeitz, the Swahili-speaking, monastery-dwelling CEO of PPR’s Sport & Lifestyle division, devotes his time—and funds—to conservation and community-building efforts, racking up accolades like the FT‘s Strategist of the Year and Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit along the way. If Bolt—the Zeitz Foundation’s ambassador for culture—is the world’s fastest man, Zeitz may be the greenest.

Friends from the office, so to speak—the likes of Stella McCartney, with husband Alasdhair Willis (above, with Zeitz and Bolt), Suzy Menkes, and Ozwald Boateng—came by to show their support, and several PPR brands had contributed auction items. Among them were a dress from Sarah Burton’s first McQueen collection, a pair of Bolt’s running shoes (he is sponsored by Puma), and a gown from a fellow environmentalist, Vivienne Westwood. A surprise lot from Sir Richard Branson was announced to the cheers of the crowd: a flight to Branson’s Necker Island to run 100 meters against Sir Richard himself. It went for £30,000 to an anonymous bidder. Racing Bolt, on the other hand, still requires passing Olympic trials.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Fancy That


“It’s not about being a site fueled with expensive stuff,” Joseph Einhorn says of his Web site,, which he once described to a San Francisco Chronicle writer as a digital “catalog of everything in the world.” To be clear, The Fancy has plenty of luxe offerings in its online marketplace, from hybrid Saint-Tropez boats to Hermès scarves to Bonsai Couture, but the site’s extensive database of things is largely fueled by a social experience, created by its 250,000 registered users.

Let François-Henri Pinault, one of the site’s board members and investors (along with the likes of Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes), explain: “[It] is the best place to discover and curate beautiful objects and places from around the Web. It is a stunning combination of social networking and a visual magazine,” he tells

Today marks the next big step for The Fancy (launched in early 2011), in part due to the support from PPR. “We are taking a deep dive into commerce; we want to turn commerce on its head,” Einhorn says. How it works: Any brand or merchant can bid to fill the demand for the items listed on the site, offering to sell as few as one of the items, or hundreds. The consumer will then get notified when a merchant or brand wants to sell them the items they ‘Fancy.’ With PPR’s involvement, The Fancy has brought top-tier luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent into the mix, with plenty more on the way. “We believe this is the next big wave in online commerce,” Pinault says. (For good reason: According to the site, in the last week alone users have Fancy’d more than 1 million times.) How is it different from a top luxury-goods e-tailer like Net-a-Porter? “We want the Net-a-Porter convenience—you can buy all your favorite brands from one site in one place—but we want the buyers to be more like your friends,” Einhorn says. For emerging designers and artists, there is good news here, too: “They can get a full-service merchant account, where they can list things for sale and monitor their orders, print shipping labels, do taxes, etc.,” he says. “It’s a top-of the-line merchant system.”

Photos: Courtesy of

Julie Gilhart’s Next Act


On Friday, the audience at the Sustainability and Philanthropy panel at the AFINGO Fashion Forum got to hear Julie Gilhart speak—her first public pronouncements since her departure from Barneys, where she’s been senior VP fashion director these past 18 years, and where every fashion-loving New Yorker fell in love with her.

“I’m super-excited,” she said. “All those things I wanted to do at Barneys I can now do.” Such as? Gilhart has been talking to “the big guys” about sustainable fashion—but in a practical way. “I don’t think there’s enough philanthropy in the world to save the world,” she declared, explaining how it’s the mass brands like Wal-Mart that ultimately need to change. “But I have lots of hope. [Luxury fashion groups] LVMH and PPR are working up to it. I just heard [François-Henri] Pinault speak at a sustainability conference in India. It was a bit disappointing—it was not about sustainability, it was about sustaining your business in India. But he’s super-smart, and he’s committed to it. His wife is committed to it.” (That’d be Salma Hayek Pinault.) “He sees it as the future of cross marketing, thinking of new ways for people to buy things. He’s going to up the ante.”

At Barneys, Gilhart always had an eye out for fresh design talent—particularly fresh, conscious talent. And AFINGO, a new social networking site-cum-marketplace for the fashion industry, is especially concerned with new designers. So, asked the moderator, how do young designers struggling to be green and putting so much sweat and thought into their lines get ahead in fashion? “You have to have great design,” said Gilhart. “Work on your craft. I can make brownies and put a whole lot of thought into it. But if they don’t taste so great, nobody’s buying.” Eighteen years at Barneys didn’t go to waste.

Kate Sekules is the founder of the haute-cycling swap site .

Photo: Courtesy of AFINGO

The Queen of Gucci Group Greets Her Subjects


It was a fairytale romance—love, marriage, baby, if not necessarily in that order—for Salma Hayek and PPR chairman François-Henri Pinault, who controls the Gucci Group portfolio of labels. And like any faithful spouse (and fashion lover), Mrs. P supports her husband and his business. Hayek arrived on the arm of the Chairman to four of Gucci Group’s shows in Paris this season, often in the designer’s own looks. Left to right, here she is in YSL at Yves Saint Laurent, at Stella McCartney, in Alexander McQueen at Alexander McQueen, and with Orlando Bloom at Balenciaga. We’d say she cut a striking figure throughout the entire week. (Props for the daring turban, too; bet we won’t see one of those on the Hollywood red carpet any time soon.) Which do you like best?

Photos: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images (Stella McCartney); Boisiere / SIPA Press (Alexander McQueen); ANG / Fame Pictures (Balenciaga); Boisiere / SIPA Press (Yves Saint Laurent)