FORTUNES OF FASHION: Fortune this week will publish its annual Business of Style package, which includes profiles of François Henri-Pinault, head of luxury goods conglomerate PPR, and online retailer, Net-a-porter. Fortune’s Peter Gumbel reports that Pinault spotted the economic downturn in early 2008, well before the recession hit the luxury market, and reacted by making key decisions, including reducing inventories and curbing spending. Such moves helped PPR report better-than-expected earnings for the first half of 2009. Pinault’s father, François Pinault, lauded his son’s leadership skills, telling Fortune: “He has a lot of sangfroid. I’m impressed — but don’t tell him that. We’re not a family that gives compliments easily.”
Meanwhile, Net-a-porter, which topped $134 million in sales last year, “is doing for $2,000 Calvin Klein dresses what Amazon did for ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and iTunes for Coldplay,” writes Fortune’s John Brodie. Also included in the issue is a photo portfolio shot by Ben Baker that includes hotelier André Balazs and architect Todd Schliemann, the brain trust behind New York’s new Standard Hotel; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; Urban Outfitters chief executive officer Glen Senk and Burberry ceo Angela Ahrendts and creative director Christopher Bailey, among others. Luxury advertisers in the issue include Cartier and Rolex.
— Stephanie D. Smith
August 28, 2009
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