Kering's François-Henri Pinault honoured in Florence
An unexpected event marked the opening day of the Pitti Uomo show on Tuesday January 7. As the menswear event kicked off at the Fortezza da Basso in the heart of Florence, a ceremony was held for a small group of guests at the city’s town hall, in honour of French entrepreneur François-Henri Pinault. The city of Florence awarded Pinault its highest distinction, the Fiorino d’Oro (golden florin), in recognition of his group’s extensive investment in the Tuscany region.
The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, thanked the Kering group’s boss in particular “for the growth initiatives and investments carried out to the benefit of our region and our community,” mentioning the long-established presence in the capital of Tuscany of Gucci and Richard Ginori, two brands owned by the French luxury giant, which also operates several factories in the Florence area, notably those specialised in leather goods for Gucci and Saint Laurent.
Nardella also underlined that Saint Laurent is about to start a major property development in Scandicci, a town just outside Florence, where the label already has a factory and where it plans to bring together all of its production in a new hub, inside a building formerly occupied by offices of the Finance Ministry.
“This award is highly significant. It's the first time that I’ve been recognised by a city,” said Pinault at the end of the ceremony, which was attended among others by the President of the Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI), Carlo Capasa, and the boss of Pitti Immagine, Raffaello Napoleone. The latter said that the Italian fashion institutions especially admire “the connection [the French entrepreneur] has managed to create between art and fashion.”
“Kering’s luxury business is very strongly rooted [in Tuscany],” said Pinault, adding that “we have the responsibility to preserve and hand on this expertise, and this is done locally. The more we develop our brands, the more we grow in Italy. Through our products, we sell a piece of Italy, and of Florence in particular.” Another Kering label will be under the spotlight in Florence this week, as Brioni will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special installation at the Pitti Uomo show.
Opening the menswear season with this ceremony was also a fitting way for the city of Florence to emphasise the links it has forged with major players in the fashion and luxury industry.
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