24.05.2015 - Aisling O'Leary

Fashion People

King Kering


François-Henri Pinault took over his fathers company and made it flourish. It is currently one of the leading holding companies in fashion. But not only is the company, Kering, thriving financially, it is also focussed on becoming exceptionally sustainable. 


After graduating from HEC School of Management in 1985 and completing military service in the French Consulate Economic Expansion station in Los Angeles, François-Henri Pinault (referred to as FHP by friends) went to join his father in the family trade in ’87. The young man was very successful and worked his way to the top at an impressive tempo. In ’88 he became the manager of the buyers department for the Pinault Group. In ’89 Pinault was appointed head manager of France Bois Industries and in ’90 head manager of Pinault Distribution. The man knew what he was doing, and everybody else knew it too.  

His fathers company, originally handling in timber, has been transformed into a bigger and better version of itself, only in a completely different sector; namely the lifestyle and sports industry, with a main focus on fashion. Pinault and his family now own high-end design houses such as Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and many more. Mr. Pinault had aggrandized the already successful company. 


Once known as PPR, the family company has been rebranded by the CEO, François-Henri Pinault and is now known as Kering. Kering (pronounced ‘caring’) describes the company’s attitude towards their brands, the environment, stakeholders and clients. In the Breton language ‘ker’ means home or place to live, therefor the “family home”. Kering has set quantifiable targets by 2016 environmentally and in social activities. Sustainability is very close to Pinault’s heart and so he implements it into his work, brand, name and life. Kering pays great attention to innovating and processing sustainable raw material sourcing and creating solutions for packaging. Their onerous goal is to educate and motivate their brands to work with new business models that contribute to a better world, economically, socially and ecologically. The business genius Pinault reinvented the family company, with a novel and notable philosophy behind it all.


Short Facts


Reading the luxury market as successfully as Francois-Henri does is nothing but pure genius; this broad vision of the future marks a high intellect notable as a trademark, having Salma Hayek by your side is worthy of a mention too!  


Sustainability is severely important to Pinault and so he implements it into his professional life, as well as his personal.


When François-Henri was set up with actor Salma Hayek for a date, the actor was confused and thought she was meeting his father.

Awards & Recognition

2006   Chevalier de L’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur


1962 - Jr.

May 28, 1962 François-Henri Pinault is born in Rennes, France. Son of wealthy entrepreneur François Pinault, his future in the family business has already been arranged.

1987 - The mogul begins

After starting his career in 1987, Pinault attains a series of executive positions over the years, increasing his responsibility within the Group. He starts off in several of the Groups operating businesses (varying from manager of the buyers department to head manager of Pinault Distribution) before also joining the executive board (acting as Vice President) for Kering Security. In 2003 he is also given presidency of Artémis.

1996 - Family

Pinault marries Dorotheé Lepère in 1996 and has two children; a son named François and daughter, Mathilde. The couple divorces in 2004. Soon after, François-Henri dates timeless supermodel Linda Evangelista, a much-publicized pregnancy and break up ensues. They share a son together Augustin James Evangelista.

2006 - New love

The mogul is set up with Hollywood superstar Salma Hayek. The actor is reported pregnant by March 2007 and the power couple marry on Valentines Day in 2009 with their daughter, Valentina Paloma as the flowergirl.

2009 - Pinault the Feminist?

As CEO of Kering, Pinault starts a foundation dear to his heart: The Kering Foundation. It’s a foundation that battles violence against women advocating women’s dignity and rights. Their motto is ‘Stop Violence. Improve Women’s Lives’. The three main causes are sexual violence, harmful traditional practices and domestic violence

2013 - The conglomerate re-establishment

After receiving full control of PPR from his father, Pinault gives the company an entire makeover, re-establishing it in the market. He drops large segments of the company and puts a new, main focus on the luxury ‘lifestyle and sports’ industry. Buying fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Volcom, Puma and many more (22 in total). In March 2013 Forbes reports the Pinault family have a net worth of $13.7 billion.


© getty Images


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