“Kering is announcing that discussions are underway with Mr. Christopher Kane about the conditions in which the British designer could take back full control of the eponymous brand. Christopher Kane and Kering wish to continue to collaborate with the aim of achieving a gradual and harmonious transition,” said the company in a statement.
The move follows Kering’s disposal of its 50 percent stake in Stella McCartney, which it sold back to the namesake designer in March. In January, Kering said it would spin off German sportswear brand Puma to its own shareholders, reducing its stake to 16 percent from 86 percent, as part of the French conglomerate’s long-held plans to focus purely on luxury.
In recent cycles, Kering has focused greater attention on fashion labels like Gucci — the group’s cash cow and a blockbuster success under the duo of Marco Bizzarri and Alessandro Michele — Saint Laurent and the still small but white-hot and fast-growing Balenciaga, designed by Demna Gvasalia. More recently, the company appointed ex-Céline ready-to-wear director Daniel Lee the new creative director of Bottega Veneta, replacing Tomas Maier.
A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, Christopher Kane established his namesake label in 2006, with his sister Tammy running the financial side of the business and assisting in fabric creation and the design process. His first independent show, a collection of neon bandage dresses, was presented for Spring/Summer 2006 at London Fashion Week. Over the following seasons, Kane garnered critical acclaim for his manipulation of textures and silhouettes and modern feminine looks.
Kering took a 51 percent stake in the company in 2013 for an undisclosed sum and helped to finance the opening of a standalone retail store on London’s Mount Street and an e-commerce site. The label currently has more than 150 wholesale accounts in 30 countries.
Yet the business has not grown significantly since the acquisition. In the year ended December 31, 2013, Christopher Kane generated £6.97 million, according to filings with Companies House in the UK. Three years later, revenue stood at £7.8 million.