Balenciaga RTW Fall 2019

PARIS — Cédric Charbit, chief executive officer of Balenciaga, will join the executive committee of parent company Kering, reflecting the brand’s growing weight within the group portfolio as it prepares to surpass 1 billion euros in sales this year.

His appointment is effective July 1, the owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta said on Friday. Since taking on the top post at Balenciaga in 2016, Charbit has steered the label to strong growth in tandem with artistic director Demna Gvasalia.

The Vetements founder has brought strong shoulders, streetwise puffer jackets and a range of best-selling sneakers to a house that was previously led by designers Alexander Wang and Nicolas Ghesquière, the latter now devoted to women’s collections for Louis Vuitton.

Cédric Charbit.

Cédric Charbit  Courtesy

In the first quarter, Balenciaga was the fastest-growing brand in Kering’s couture and leather goods division, and the group’s chairman and ceo François-Henri Pinault has said he expects the brand to surpass the 1-billion-euro sales threshold thanks in part to a focus on leather goods and men’s products.

Charbit is a graduate of ESC Toulouse business school and is prized for his strong fashion instincts, product sense and complicity with designers.

He was the second former YSL executive to take on a ceo role at Kering, suggesting finance and sales is no longer the main path to the management helm of a modern fashion firm. Having joined Saint Laurent in 2011 as director of product strategy, he went on to oversee all aspects of merchandising, visual display and communication.

Previously, the Frenchman was deputy general manager at Emilio Pucci and held management roles in retail — as general merchandise manager for women’s wear at Harrods in London and Printemps in Paris.