Veteran communications executive Lionel Vermeil has been named luxury prospective director at Kering, effective this month, WWD has learned.
It is understood he was instrumental in the 2015 recruitment of Vetements cofounder Demna Gvasalia as Balenciaga’s creative director. Vermeil has also represented the group on the jury for the ANDAM Prize and spoken to luxury goods students at French business school HEC.
In his new role, in which he reports directly to Pinault, Vermeil is to represent Kering in industry forums and institutions, “while also supporting special projects and contributing to the scouting of new creative talent,” according to an internal announcement seen by WWD.
The announcement lauded Vermeil’s “extensive experience of the fashion sector, and [he] is recognized for his expertise and connections within the industry. Along with a thorough knowledge of fashion history and its sociological drivers, he has also demonstrated a sharp eye for emerging talent.”
Balenciaga is expected to name his successor in due course. Kering said Vermeil would continue to oversee Balenciaga’s communication department during the transition period.
As luxury prospective director, Vermeil is charged with identifying new trends in not only fashion, but communications, commerce and the broader culture. In terms of talent recruitment, he said “it’s not about creative directors. It’s more global now.”
Before joining Balenciaga in 2007, Vermeil worked in communications and public relations at Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier.