Gucci, Saint Laurent Owner Partners With Cannes Film Festival

AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Salma Hayek wearing Kering's Saint Laurent at Cannes

Set to make the style scene even hotter, the Kering deal includes events that will put the spotlight on women in the industry

Stylists, start your engines! The Cannes red carpet is set to get even more glamorous next year, with Kering signing a five-year strategic partnership with the film festival.

Headed by Francois-Henri Pinault, (aka Mr. Salma Hayek), Kering owns such luxury brands as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga and recently added young designer Christopher Kane to its roster, as well as Brioni for men. 

Blake Lively wore Gucci gowns throughout the festival last year, and Hayek is loyal to her husband's labels, often shopping from the front row during Paris Fashion Week. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

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Notably, the partnership excludes jewelry and watches – Chopard has been a sponsor of the festival for 17 years.

Kering has long been involved in the film industry, with initiatives for film financing, restoration and documentary filmmaking. Kering's Gucci hosts an annual bash for its film foundation at the festival. Hayek’s Chime for Change, sponsored by Kering and co-founded by Gucci designer Frida Giannini and Beyonce, funded documentary Humaira: The Dream Catcher earlier this year and has been active in raising global awareness for girls’ education.

“For many years now, Kering has been committed to empowering women and supporting the film industry. Film, as a universal, contemporary and diverse art form, that mirrors society and is accessible to all, represents Kering’s choice of cultural engagement. We are enthusiastic about joining forces with the Festival de Cannes to bring our commitment to the next level,” said Pinault.

During the festival, Kering plans to organize several panels and other sessions highlighting the contribution of women to the film industry, from celebrities to those behind the scenes, including directors, producers, screenwriters and agents that make the business run.

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The two organizations are positioning the new partnership as a move to strengthen the role of women in the film industry. “By collaborating with Kering, we come together to promote film, talent, and the women who contribute to the future of the film industry,” said new Cannes festival president Pierre Lescure

“Through its prestigious and international brands, Kering naturally shares the festival’s open-mindedness and perfectly embodies its ambition for the editions to come,” said festival head Thierry Fremaux. “I am particularly pleased with Kering’s wish to work hand-in-hand with the Festival de Cannes to highlight the contribution of women to the film industry. Together, we are strengthening the reputation of the Cannes International Film Festival on the international stage, toward artists, the media and professionals of the industry.”

The 2015 Cannes festival runs May 13-24.