Remember when Hedi Slimane's first collection for Saint Laurent in fall 2013 got panned by critics and then turned around to be a commercial success? Turns out Slimane's collections are continuing to kill it on the sales floor, leading luxury growth for parent company Kering while Gucci's numbers falter.
In the first half of 2014 ending June 30, Saint Laurent's sales clocked in at 320.6 million euros, 28 percent higher than they were during the same period last year. The brand isn't Kering's fattest cash cow — Bottega Veneta brought in 525.5 million euros and Gucci more than triple that — but it is showing the fastest growth. Bottega's sales grew a solid 17.5 percent, while Gucci's dropped 1.1 percent over the course of the last six months.
Saint Laurent is showing high growth globally, both in Europe (its historical market) as well as Asia Pacific.
"The trends in the last six months confirm that investments in terms of store openings and refurbishings are paying off," a Kering rep said of Saint Laurent's growth.
Despite growing only 1.2 percent overall, Kering's luxury division did much better than the sport and lifestyle category, which slid 35.5 percent for the half year.
Kering also announced on its earnings call that it has acquired the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, adding it to a jewelry and watches portfolio that also includes Girard-Perregaux and Jeanrichard.