French fashion group PPR has changed its name to Kering, the latest move in its “profound transformation” into a group focused exclusively on the luxury, sport and lifestyle sectors.
Second-gen chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement: "The change of identity is logical and necessary culmination of the transformation. Beyond a simple change of activity, the new name reflects the new nature of the group."
Pinault has been on a mission to transform the group founded by his father. In the past year the group divested mail order company Redcats and plus-sized clothing chain OneStopPlus, and its books and electronics chain Fnac is due to be listed in June 2013. The company had been gradually shedding it mainstream brands since 2005 while simultaneously buying up luxury labels.
The company counts Gucci, Puma and Alexander McQueen among the big names in its stable, and in recent months it bought a majority stake in British fashion house Christopher Kane. It had revenues of €9.7 billion in 2012, but Pinault said at a press conference on 22 March he is hoping to increase revenues to €24 billion by 2020.
There are a few layers to the new name, according to Pinault. It is pronounced like "caring" in English, to characterise, Pinault said, the group's “unique way of taking care of its brands, collaborators, partners and the environment”.
The first syllable "ker" means "hearth" or "living space" in Breton, the old language of Brittany in the north-west of France, and is a nod to the Pinault family’s origins.
Kering has a new owl logo to match its new name – chosen, according to Pinault, because it is a “primal symbol of wisdom”. The company also has a new motto, “empowering imagination”.
The change of name is still subject to the approval of shareholders at its annual meeting, which will be held on 18 June.