Luxury clothing retailer snaps up Christopher Kane brand

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FRENCH luxury group PPR is to expand the Christopher Kane fashion brand’s presence in Asia, open boutiques and grow its accessories business after acquiring a 51 per cent stake in the British designer’s label.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is part of PPR’s strategy to beef up its luxury portfolio with small brands that have growth potential, in a bid to replicate its success with Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.

Christopher Kane, known for his modern designs, digital prints and original mix of fabrics, was founded in 2006 by the Scottish-born designer and his sister Tammy after he graduated from Central Saint Martins College, London.

“We think it can become a sizeable business,” Alexis Babeau, managing director of PPR’s luxury division, said yesterday. PPR also has a sportswear business.

Mr Babeau said PPR had increased sales of Alexander McQueen 12 times since buying control in 2001, adding that annual revenue generated by the British brand and by Stella McCartney both exceeded £83 million.

While it took several years for PPR to turn those two brands into profitable operations, Mr Babeau said Christopher Kane was already making money.

PPR also owns French fashion brands Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent as well as Italian labels Bottega Veneta and Gucci.

Kane launched his first menswear and resort collections in 2010 and was the lead designer of Versace’s Versus line until 2012.