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Fashion Industry Conglomerates, Who Owns What?

Posted by: Mia Hudson, on: Monday, 22 June 2015

London Fashion Week runway 2013
London Fashion Week runway 2013


One of the many comments I got from my last article was an intriguing question of who owns who. Have you ever wondered which company own what? If you know, would it even affect your choice of perfume? For some, it would. For others, it’s just a matter of curiosity. Either way, we took some time to compile the list and answer your questions.


Let’s get started.


The thing is, we often think that whatever purchase we make from a brand, whether it be in apparel, shoes or perfume, has nothing to do with its competitors or brands that sell different products, but really, we’re wrong if we stick to that mentality.


LVMH

Let’s take a look at LVMH. LVMH stands for Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Everyone is familiar with this brand as one of the largest luxury goods company in the world. Based on just this 2015 first quarter revenue their sales increased from around seven billion euros in the first quarter of last year to around eight billion euros. Its largest shareholder is Groupe Arnault, a holding company owned by Bernard Arnault’s family. To make things confusing, however, Christian Dior, also a luxury goods company owned by Groupe Arnault, owns 40.9% of LVMH shares.


So what does this mean? Does Christian Dior have more fun? Does Dior have more corporate freedom over LVMH? Probably. However, it can’t be denied that LVMH is pretty much the best and most well-known luxury brand in the world and the fact that it bought stocks from Hermes (that it eventually relinquished last year), and other luxury brands certainly won’t make any of these brand owners happy.


Entrance of Dior Boutique on Collins St, Melbourne CBD
Entrance of Dior Boutique on Collins St, Melbourne


LVMH owns plenty of fashion and beauty brands, and whether you like LVMH or not, you may have in some way contributed to their success. Here are some of the brands that LVMH owns: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Nicholas Kirkwood, Parfums Christian Dior, Nude, Bulgari watches and jewellery, TAG Heuer, Le Bon Marche, all Sephora Stores, Edun, DFS Group (DFS Galleria), and more, including their recently bought stocks from Loro Piana, JW Anderson and others in 2013.


Kering

If you’re shocked about LVMH take a look at other big conglomerates like Kering, or Pinault-Printemps-Redoute or PPR as it was previously known. Kering is another luxury goods company that owns some of the famous brands we know like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, Saint Laurent Paris, and many other well-known luxury brands. They even own Puma, a sports and lifestyle apparel brand.


Richemont

Another luxury brand is Richemont, a Swiss conglomerate with estimated sales of 14.59 billion US dollars as of May 2015. Richemont is known as the owner of several brands that design, manufacture and distribute luxury goods such as watches, leather products, jewellery, and writing materials. Some of the brands they own are Cartier, Montblanc, International Watch Company, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Paiget SA, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, James Purdey & Sons, Peter Millar, A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, Roger Dubuis, Chloe, Lancel, Alaia, Shanghai Tang, Alfred Dunhill Limited, Manufacture Roger Dubuis SA, Officine Panerai marketing e Communicazione Srl, Net-A-Porter and other brands, most of which are based in different parts of the globe. These brands are not just some of the most popular but most successful brands around. Net-A-Porter for instance, is even considered as one of the most successful online luxury retailer in the world with approximately 2.5 million visitors in their website every month.


Prada

Let’s not forget Prada. The Prada Group is an Italian luxury fashion house that designs, creates, manufactures and distributes a variety of fashion items from ready-to-wear luxury clothing to high-quality accessories, shoes, luggage, watches, perfumes, eyewear and more. In just this first quarter of 2015 their revenues rose by 6.5% leaving them with 828.2 million euros for just one quarter. Like the others, The Prada Group owns certain brands like Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, Pasticceria Marchesi, Luna Rossa and other luxury brands.


Miu Miu Store Next to Prada, Westfield, Sydney CBD
Miu Miu Store Next to Prada, Westfield, Sydney CBD


What’s interesting about Prada is their approach to branding. They created individual brands that cater to specific interests reducing brand competition between and among them. For instance, the Prada brand focuses on ready-to-wear clothing. Miu Miu focuses on accessories and bags. Church’s offer high-end men’s footwear, while Car Shoe’s collection consists of original driving moccasin, a shoe model with uppers perforated with rubber studs.


Chanel

Let’s move on to Chanel S.A., a family owned high fashion house by the Wertheimer clan. They own Chanel, Eres, and other ateliers that use unique and phenomenal techniques in creating their products. Chanel claims that it was a move they made on their part in order to avoid losing the original styles and techniques of the ateliers. I believe this was a bold but smart move on their part because some skills are hard to preserve and recreate.


Just take a look at Les Broderies Lesage and Desrue. Les Brodieries Lesage is famous for its embroideries, while Desrue makes high-quality luxury buttons. Well, I suppose this explains why Chanel always performs astonishingly well at fashion shows because they already have some of the most skilled fashion companies at their fingertips.


Valentino

The Valentino Fashion Group was originally an extension of the Marzotto Group’s textile business, which to me, actually explains the business’ impeccable taste in print and design. Now, it is owned by Mayhoola, an investment company from Qatar backed by the Qatari royals. Valentino Fashion Group also has its own subsidiaries used increase their brand presence. As we all know, Valentino Fashion Group is one of the biggest contributors in the fashion industry which includes clothing, accessories and footwear. This is evident based on last year’s reported 57% increase in earnings for the Valentino brand alone.


M Missoni Swimwear Zig Zag Collection
M Missoni Swimwear Zig Zag Collection


Other than the Valentino brand, the Valentino Fashion group also own other brands like Valentino Garavani, R.E.D. Valentino, M Missoni, Proenza Schouler, and a few others. They even have over 700 single brand boutiques which includes other private label brands like Lebole, Oxon, Portrait and others.


Aeffe Group

The Aeffe Group is a popular Italian fashion group which designs, manufactures and distributes some of the most famous luxury items in the world. For just the first quarter of 2015, the Aeffe Group earned 71.2 million euros in sales, a huge increase compared to the 67.6 million euros it earned in the first quarter of last year.


The Aeffe Group controls and owns several companies, namely, Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Moschino Cheap and Chic, Pollini, Studio Pollini, Cedric Charlier and others. Moschino is one of its top brands as it composed 65% of Aeffe’s total sales in the past quarter. They also have an existing licensed production and distribution agreements with several other companies like Basso & Brooke, Authier, Narciso Rodriguez, Blugirl Underwear, Bluegirl Beachwear and Jean Paul Gaultier making them one of the biggest designers and manufacturers of perfume, children’s lines, accessories like watches and sunglasses, swimwear, lingerie, footwear and more.


Phillips-Van Heusen

Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., while not as high-end as these previous fashion houses own brands such as Phillips-Van Heusen (Far East) Ltd., PVH Retail Stores Inc., Insignia Neckwear, Inc., PHV Europe Inc., Van Heusen, Warnaco Group, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, IZOD, ARROW, Speedo, Warner’s, Olga, Chaps, DKNY, Donald Trump Signature Collection, Kenneth Cole NY, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Geoffrey Beene, Michael Kors, Sean John, Ted Baker, Valentino Garavani and other brands.


Tommy Hilfiger 2014 Fall/Winter Campaign
Tommy Hilfiger 2014 Fall/Winter Campaign


They even have a Heritage Brands business which involves the sourcing, design, marketing, and licensing of their apparel and other similar products to create specific brands and styles that target distinct customer demographics for each brand they own. In effect, PVH has the ability to increase target market without creating competition among their brands. This strategy is actually quite ingenious. If I don’t really have any interest in fashion, I don’t think I would ever believe that all these brands came from one conglomerate alone.


These are just some of the well-known brands we know but there are probably more fashion conglomerates that own other brands as well. In fact, this doesn’t even only happen in the clothing industry. Every industry practically has them – food industry, automobile industry, cosmetics industry, you name it!


L'Oréal S.A.

Let’s take L'Oréal S.A. as an example, L'Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics company earning 6.44 billion euros for just the first quarter of 2015, but the L'Oréal Group doesn’t stop there! The group also own other famous brands such as L'Oréal Paris, L'Oréal Professionnel, The Body Shop (Kind of ironic while The Body Shop always comments on 'against animal testing' but the company owned and funded by L'Oreal, that is very well known for being one of the worst offenders of animal experiment), Giorgio Armani, Kerastase, Ralph Lauren, Biotherm, Garnier, Diesel Fragrances, NYX Cosmetics, La Roche-Posay, Lancôme, Essie, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté (both cosmetics and fragrances), Sanoflore, Cacharel, Vichy Laboratories and more.


L'Oréal even holds around 10% shares of Sanofi-Aventis, a pharmaceutical company, and an existing joint venture with Nestlé called Laboratoires Innéov to learn about nutritional cosmetics which L’Oréal uses to draw knowledge on nutrition and food safety. This is a smart move on their part since they can use the knowledge to further expand their brand and even improve their products.


The Body Shop Store Front
The Body Shop Store Front


Confusing, isn’t it? Just when you think that brands of the same industry are considered competitors, you find that the revenue of one may actually benefit another. This only goes to show that you may actually be buying from one of the biggest companies in the world, and you don’t even know it!


Author: Mia Hudson

Graduated in late 2003 from School of Computer Science in RMIT University majoring in software engineering. Employed by Coles Group developing Coles Online until it was taken over by Wesfarmers in 2007. Co-Founder of FeelingSexy.com.au and Lead programmer since 2006.

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