By  on November 19, 2010

PARIS — Hermès International has opened its second-largest unit worldwide in a former swimming pool — and welcomed a surprising guest to its opening cocktail party: actress Salma Hayek, aka the wife of PPR chief François-Henri Pinault.

Her arrival at the event Thursday night caused ripples not only because of her short red Gucci bustier dress, but because of the context: Hermès has become embroiled in a media battle with luxury mogul Bernard Arnault since LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton last month revealed its surprise acquisition of 17.1 percent of its shares.

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