Much has been made — both on this website and across the internet — about the rate at which Gucci is growing. It's startling, really: The Kering-owned Italian fashion house, led by Creative Director Alessandro Michele and President and CEO Marco Bizzarri, kicked off 2018 with a cool, casual 49 percent sales climb; not to mention, it was the top-selling and most-searched brand of 2017. But it's not exactly fair of us to give Gucci all the credit from within the Kering umbrella.
During a Financial Times luxury goods conference in Venice, Italy on Tuesday, Balenciaga's CEO Cedric Charbit revealed that Demna Gvasalia's newly streetwear-tinged label is now the fastest-growing brand within the Kering group, Business of Fashion reported on Wednesday. (A spokesperson for Balenciaga confirmed to Fashionista on Wednesday afternoon that the house is, in fact, posting the fastest growth rates of any Kering label.)
Charbit attributed much of Balenciaga's success to, unsurprisingly, millennials, who now represent a third of the global luxury goods market — Charbit said that the generation make up 60 percent of Balenciaga's consumers — as well as male shoppers, who have only recently grown in buying power. He also detailed that Balenciaga has seen "more than 100 percent" growth in certain categories, including handbags, clothing and footwear.
"There's not a dinner I go to where a father or someone [doesn't] say, 'Stop releasing these shoes, it's out of control, we spend too much money at Balenciaga', which I'm very happy with," said Charbit at the conference.
Back in February, Kering's year-end earnings seemed to verify this, at least financially: 2017 was the conglomerate's most profitable year on record, with revenue up a 27.2 percent as compared to 2016; revenue for Kering's luxury brands — which, of course, include Balenciaga and Gucci, as well as fellow cash cow Saint Laurent — topped the €10 billion mark.
All of which is to say: There must be no one happier than one François-Henri Pinault, Kering's Chairman and CEO, who is surely just as delighted about those dads buying $850 "Triple-S" sneakers as the kids receiving them are.
Note: This story has been updated from its original version to include confirmation from Balenciaga.