I love the business of fashion, not just for the creativity surrounding the industry, but also for the unique business strategies used to develop successful brands. In todays fast-paced consumer society, experts and investors are looking for fast returns when helping grow a brand. Working in the digital industry, I find this to be an extremely common phenomenon. Companies might come and go in less than a year or two. That’s why I find PPR’s 51% investment in the emerging London label Christopher Kane extremely encouraging. If you’re not familiar with PPR, they are a multination holding company based out of France and usually work with the development of luxury brands.
Almost ten years ago, PPR invested in two relatively unknown (at the time) fashion brands, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. The company received much criticism for these investments. Many believed the two brands would underperform and have minimal impact to the bottom line while requiring large capital injections in order to grow successfully. PPR understands the luxury fashion industry, so they understood that these brands would need plenty of time to develop a unique brand identity and market position. Today, both Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen have grown into successful businesses, each generating over $130,000,000 in annual revenue. I believe PPR is pursuing that same strategy with Christopher Kane, giving the brand plenty of time to develop a personality, brand identity, and market position before expecting a ROI.
The article from Business of Fashion finished with a quote detailing the most important element of my current career, “Perhaps now, with the time, space and team made possible by the PPR investment, Mr Kane will focus some attention on his digital presence too.” Currently, www.christopherkane.com takes you to the personal blog of a “software guru”, not the Christopher Kane fashion brand we have in mind. Any company today should understand how important an organized, efficient, scalable, and engaging digital presence is in today’s consumer society. This is especially true in the fashion industry where everyone loves their trendy, innovative digital devices which are widely used for communication and information gathering. I’m sure PPR will do all they can to take control of that domain, and I’m curious to see how much money that “software guru” receives for his domain.