PARIS — Gucci Group could be faced with the exit of Christian Bedat, a key figure in its watch division, WWD has learned.
According to sources, the dynamo behind Geneva-based Bedat & Co., who also recently designed timepieces for Gucci and Boucheron, has differences with the conglomerate over the development of the firm that bears his name and where he and his company fit within its management structure.
It is understood talks are ongoing between the two parties, but the sources suggested Bedat could resign as chief executive officer and creative director of Bedat & Co.
Reached late Friday, a Bedat & Co. spokeswoman declined to comment.
Meanwhile, a Gucci Group spokeswoman said: “We never comment on rumors or issues related to our people.”
Bedat and his mother, Simone, one of the founders of Raymond Weil, introduced their brand in 1996. The collection earned quick acclaim for its creative and elegant high-end watches.
Its model No. 3 — a tonneau-shaped women’s style with straps of grosgrain or metal — was a breakthrough, particularly in the U.S., a key market for the brand.
Bedat sold an 85 percent stake in his firm to Gucci Group in 2000 at the height of the luxury acquisition spree. Today, it is one of the smaller and less visible companies in the luxury group’s stable, which also includes Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Boucheron and Alexander McQueen.
To be sure, there has been some recent upheaval in Gucci Group’s watch division.
Over the summer, a reorganization put managerial control of the Gucci brand watch business under Gucci brand ceo Mark Lee. At the time, the company said it also was mulling over a new organizational structure for its Boucheron and Bedat & Co. brands.
In light of the changes, Gucci Group Watches Division ceo Jacques-Philippe Auriol decided to leave the company when his contract expires at the end of the year, Gucci said. Until then, he will help with the ongoing transitional and organizational changes at the company.
“The changes will ensure that all of our luxury timepieces businesses will continue their success and achieve their full potential for development led directly by each brand,” Gucci Group president and ceo Robert Polet said at the time in a statement.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews