At Kering’s Annual General Meeting, the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate spoke at length about the marquee brand under its ownership umbrella, Gucci, which will launch its debut fine jewelry collection in June, in furtherance of an effort to not only “strengthen the high-end positioning" of the brand but to diversify its product offerings to continue to achieve “explosive” revenue growth. Another topic of interest during Wednesday’s meeting? The group’s new billion euro brand.
Kering Chief Executive Officer François-Henri Pinault confirmed that Balenciaga is set to break 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) in revenue for the first time this year, a projection that Kering Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix first raised in an investor call in February. The expected sales milestone comes less than a year after Kering revealed that the Demna Gvasalia-helmed brand was the fastest-growing brand on its roster, which also includes Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, and Altuzarra, among other brands, driven in large part by men and young “millennial” shoppers, the latter of which account for approximately one third of the global luxury goods market.
Under the watch of creative head Gvasalia – who joined the brand in 2015 and has since, with the help of luxurious Ikea-inspired bags and $800+ clunky, “ugly” sneakers, had a strong hand in changing what it is that consumers consider fashion, per the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan – Balenciaga has grown fast. In some categories, its rate of growth has topped 100 percent, Balenciaga CEO Cedric Charbit revealed at a May 2018 Financial Times luxury goods conference in Venice, Italy.
While YSL took the cake in terms of highlighted growth in connection with the release of Kering’s first quarter report last week (up 17.5 percent on a comparable basis), Kering stated that Balenciaga maintained “very strong momentum.”
The 1 billion euro figure puts Balenciaga behind Gucci (which brought in 8 billion euros in 2018), Saint Laurent, which boasted sales of 1.7 billion euros, and Bottega Veneta’s 1.1 billion in annual sales.