FACC Meet the Executive - Laurent Claquin, Head of Kering Americas


26-Jul-2013 | By: French-American Chamber of Commerce

Over sixty members and guests of the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) gathered at member firm Moses & Singer LLP on Tuesday, July 16th for a “Meet the Executive” discussion with Laurent Claquin, Head of Kering Americas.

Elsa Berry, President of the FACC and Founder of Vendôme Global Partners, welcomed attendees and introduced Laurent Claquin, who has been with Kering since 2004.

Kering, a French multinational holding company founded in 1963 that has become a world leader in apparel and accessories, encompasses two “complementary segments” - Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle. The company’s portfolio includes such brands as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Puma, Saint Laurent and Volcom.

Laurent Claquin described the strategy behind the company’s new name, which officially changed from PPR to Kering on June 18, 2013. Mr. Claquin explained that Kering, which is to be understood as “caring”, boldly reflects not only a new name but a new corporate identity, illustrating the company’s attitude towards its people, customers, stakeholders and the environment. Reminding attendees of the company’s freedom within a framework operational style, Mr. Claquin also emphasized that this new identity reflects an international Group that has truly transformed into one that is more integrated and cohesive, focuses always on organic growth, and whose many brands aim to “empower imagination.”

The discussion also explored the Kering focus on sustainability, which Mr. Claquin explained represents both a “business and a leadership opportunity.” Indeed, maintaining that a wholistic approach to business from the beginning leads to growth, innovation, and cost-saving, Kering aims to empower its brands with business models that “contribute to a better world” economically, sociologically and ecologically. Mr. Claquin pointed specifically to the Kering Corporate Foundation as a concrete example of this mission, which fights violence against women and encourages their empowerment around the world, most notably by promoting women’s integration into the workforce via microcredit facilities and other such initiatives.

Targeting new markets and new distribution channels as “one global team” is another key part of the Kering mission. Mr. Claquin discussed rapid growth opportunities that exist in such markets as Asia-Pacific and North America, specifying that the former represents 25% of the company’s 2012 global revenue, and the latter represents 20% of this revenue. He also pointed to Latin America as a region that has shown solid growth, representing 6% of revenue in 2012.

A dynamic question-and-answer session with Laurent Claquin concluded the event, which further explored such topics as Kering’s presence in Africa; its growth in China; and its digital strategy in partnership with Italian online retailer Yoox. 

About the French-American Chamber of Commerce "Meet the Executive" Series 
The popular French-American Chamber of Commerce "Meet the Executive" Series provides members and guests with the opportunity to interact with executives in a more intimate setting. The series has recently featured a number of high-level executives, including Bruno Bich, Chairman of the Board, The BIC Group; Valérie Hermann, Chief Executive Officer, Reed Krakoff; Franck Moison, Chief Operating Officer – Emerging Markets, Colgate-Palmolive Company; Jean Rosanvallon, Chief Executive Officer, Dassault; and Mathilde Thomas, Founder, Caudalie.