PARIS — Givenchy is about to embark on a new development phase under a business leader with experience in fashion and beauty.
On Friday, the French house confirmed exclusively to WWD that Renaud de Lesquen, currently president and chief executive officer of Dior Americas, is to join Givenchy on April 1 as president and ceo.
A suave but discreet executive, de Lesquen has been in the New York-based role for four years, and previously served the same amount of time as president of Dior China. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at L’Oréal in Paris, as president and ceo of YSL Beauté, and before that as global president of Giorgio Armani Beauty.
The appointment underscores the penchant of Givenchy parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to groom and promote executives from within — and adds to a growing list of beauty mavens climbing the executive ranks in fashion.
De Lesquen succeeds Philippe Fortunato, an LVMH veteran whose six-year tenure straddled two distinctly different creative directors: Riccardo Tisci, culminating with an acclaimed New York showing, and then Clare Waight Keller, who arrived from Chloé in May 2017.
Fortunato ramped up retail expansion, brought couture back to the runway, oversaw the brand’s arrival on e-commerce, and also put the spotlight on its men’s wear division with a slate of initiatives, including a showing at Pitti Uomo.
According to an internal announcement, he is exiting the group to “pursue a personal project.” His next move could not immediately be learned.
The statement made no mention of Waight Keller, and it is understood she remains under contract for the time being.
Prior to Givenchy, Fortunato had been president and ceo of the North Asia region of Louis Vuitton. He has also been managing director of Fendi, and worked for Christian Dior and Vuitton in China. Earlier in his career, Fortunato spent two years in the French navy, after which he worked for French lingerie firm Chantelle and Dubai-based retailer Chalhoub Group.
Sidney Toledano, chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group, thanked Fortunato “for his important contribution to the maison Givenchy and the LVMH Group. I wish him all the best in his future personal endeavors.”
Commenting on the arrival of de Lesquen, Toledano told WWD exclusively, “I had the opportunity to work very closely with him at Dior Couture and I am convinced that this appointment will lead the maison to further growth and success.”
A graduate of ESCP Business School, de Lesquen began his career in 1993 at Lancôme, a L’Oréal brand, both in the U.S. and internationally. From 2001 to 2004, he was general manager of Helena Rubinstein in Japan.
De Lesquen’s successor at Dior is to be named at a later date.
Founding couturier Hubert de Givenchy sold his label to LVMH in 1988 for $45 million after 36 years of independence. He remained head of creative design for seven years before retiring in 1995.
In the following years, the house saw a revolving door of designers: John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien MacDonald. Tisci took over the label in 2005, putting it back on the design map with his daring, goth-tinged fashions during a stellar 12-year tenure.
Waight Keller became the brand’s first female artistic director. She has referenced Givenchy’s graphic designs with black-and-white advertising campaigns, mined a masculine-feminine fashion territory, and boosted the house’s international notoriety by dressing Meghan Markle for her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry, and subsequently many royal engagements.
In recent years, a host of fashion and luxury firms, led by LVMH , have sped up their recruitment from the L’Oréals and P&Gs of the world, attracted by the formidable marketing, digital, brand and consumer engagement skills executives accrue in the sector.
Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton appointed Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou, formerly global brand president of L’Oréal Paris, to helm its burgeoning men’s universe, ignited by men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh.