François-Henri Pinault


PARIS — Amid growing international protests over President Trump’s executive order restricting entry into the United States for travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, Kering chief François-Henri Pinault has joined a chorus of fashion industry figures voicing concern about the political situation.

Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering — the parent company of brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Puma — on Tuesday posted two messages on Kering’s Twitter account that did not directly refer to Trump, but that left little doubt about the intended target.

“At a time when diversity is at stake, I want to reaffirm how crucial this value is to me and to Kering,” he said. “Diversity of origin, opinion and belief is part of our identity and our success.”

A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that Pinault, who does not have an individual Twitter account, was the author of the statement but had no further comment.

Pinault has long stated his commitment to promote a socially, ethically, economically and environmentally sustainable business. He is chairman of the Kering Foundation, which was launched in 2009 to combat violence against women.

Kering was recognized as one of the top 25 most diverse and inclusive publicly listed companies globally, according to the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index published in September. It has also been awarded the Gender Equality European & International Standard label.

Pinault joins the ranks of designers, photographers, makeup artists, model agents and fashion personalities who have criticized the executive order, signed on Friday, that severely restricts immigration from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Gigi and Bella Hadid joined a march in New York on Sunday opposing the ban. The model sisters shared images to their Instagram accounts showing them posing alongside a sign that said: “We are all Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, Christians, Jews.”

bella hadid instagram immigration protest

An image from Bella Hadid’s Instagram account. 

Prabal Gurung, who was born in Singapore to Nepalese parents, shared a personal appeal with the hashtags #pgworld #NoBanNoWall #NoHateNoFear.

“Now, more than ever, we must come together as one. We must open our minds, our hearts and our doors. I am an immigrant, and we are all immigrants. We are a country founded on that very word. The recent policies that have been implemented are an injustice and we must continue to fight in unison with strength and integrity,” he said.

“I came to a country that opened its doors to me and allowed me to achieve my dreams. I know that country is still there, but we must work together to uncover these roots,” Gurung added, directing readers to a link in his bio for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Photographer Mario Sorrenti published a photo of a sign that said “If you are not angry you are not paying attention” alongside the caption: “This guy Trump and the people that support him are Fascist’s. he’s going to ruin this country!!! He’s really scary!!! The beginning of the end of freedom!!! #DumpTrump.”

The image was regrammed by several fashion personalities, including shoe designer Brian Atwood and model and writer Caroline de Maigret, who simply added: “Crazy selfish world rg @mario_sorrenti.” Jeremy Scott featured a model dressed in black with the hashtag: “#RESIST.”

Caroline de Maigret's Instagram immigration protest

An image from Caroline de Maigret’s Instagram account 

Saif Mahdhi, president Europe of Next Management, published an image with the slogan “We Are All Immigrants” set out in a pattern resembling the U.S. flag, alongside an appeal to donate to the ACLU. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux was among those who regrammed the image.

Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council, posted an image of the Statue of Liberty alongside the quote written on its pedestal. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! #refugeeswelcome #notmypresident,” she wrote.

Net-a-porter backer Carmen Busquets called on her followers to sign a petition by non-governmental organization Save the Children seeking to overturn the refugee ban.

An image from Carmen Busquets' Instagram account

An image from Carmen Busquets’ Instagram account. 

French business leaders have so far been circumspect in their reactions to Trump’s election, with the exception of Bernard Arnault, chairman and ceo of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who visited the then-President elect on Jan. 9 to discuss opening more factories in the U.S., among other issues.

In a press conference to discuss LVMH’s full-year results last week, Arnault said Trump’s planned economic policies, including tax cuts and infrastructure spending, were generally positive for companies in the United States, but it remained to be seen how the rest of the world would be impacted.

Arnault also warned that conflicts in the areas of trade, customs and currencies could contribute to a worsening of the global economy in the second half.

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