Giambattista Valli

One of Salma Hayek’s favorite designers is finally in the extended family fold.

Artémis, the private investment arm of the billionaire Pinault family, has taken a minority stake in Giambattista Valli, WWD has learned, with the potential to become a majority shareholder at a later stage.

Maison Valli, which was founded in 2004 and produces haute couture, the Giambattista Valli and Giamba ready-to-wear lines, has quickly gained recognition as a major fashion and luxury player. The collections are distributed through a global network of selective specialty and department stores, as well as the Giambattista Valli boutiques in Paris, Milan, Saint-Tropez and Seoul.

Artémis is expected to support and contribute to the growth of Maison Valli, assisting the brand as it moves forward into a new chapter of development.

“For more than 10 years, Giambattista Valli’s creations have illustrated his sensitivity, his poetry and immense talent. The success of his house is a tremendous recognition of his artistic fiber and his know-how as an entrepreneur. I am delighted that Artémis can from now on assist this house and support its development,” said François Pinault.

“Artémis and Maison Valli share a same passion for art, freedom of express and creativity,” said the Italian-born designer Giambattista Valli, who is based in Paris. “With this alliance, we are uniting the excellence of two houses with similar visions, and I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to get access to the Artémis know-how in order to pursue, with the Pinault family, the story of Maison Valli.”

Patricia Barbizet, chief executive officer of Artémis, said, “In providing Maison Valli with Artémis’ means and expertise, we are delighted to support its development and to contribute to the growth of this great company, driven by the immense talent of its designer. With this alliance, Maison Valli will benefit from the support of a professional shareholder in order to enter a new chapter and reveal its full potential.”

In 2015, it was reported that Artémis was said to have taken a minority stake in Courrèges, although both parties were mum at the time. Market sources believed that Artémis acquired a stake believed to be in the region of 30 percent.

Founded by French billionaire François Pinault in 1992, Artémis is the investment art of the Pinault family. Artémis is the majority shareholder of the global luxury group Kering, led by François-Henri Pinault. It also owns the auction house Christie’s; several prestigious vineyards, including Château Latour; the luxury cruise specialist Ponant; the Fnac Darty group; the weekly Le Point, and the Stade Rennais Football Club, among other assets.

Further, Artémis owns Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice, which are the exhibition sites of François Pinault’s contemporary art collections. A third exhibition center is slated to open in 2019 in the Commodities Exchange building in the Paris city center.

Born and raised in Rome, Valli began his career as an assistant to Roberto Capucci. He then joined Fendi as senior designer of the Fendissime line before moving to Milan where he was appointed senior designer for Krizia women’s wear by Krizia-Mariuccia Mandelli. In 1997, Valli moved to Paris and met Emanuel Ungaro, where he headed his design studio alongside the designer and became creative director for the prêt-à-porter, the Ungaro Fever line, accessories and licenses. A few years later, Valli launched his own collection and in March 2005 held his first solo show in Paris. He showed his first haute couture collection in July 2011. Ten years after launching his signature brand, Valli introduced Giamba, a new rtw line with a runway show during Milan Fashion Week.

Valli has been one of the 15 permanent members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture since 2011.

Valli’s collections, which are worn by such celebrities as Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Diane Kruger, Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, Julianne Moore and Brooke Shields, have more than 245 selling points in 41 countries worldwide.

For his fall ready-to-wear show presented in March, Valli was thinking of a woman who skips from working out to going out by throwing on a jacket and a pair of stiletto boots. “It can be today’s version of a Parisian petite robe noire,” he explained, using the French words for “little black dress.” To conjure this mythical woman, who may or may not actually exist, Valli sent out “frothy dresses in a palette of black, white and lipstick red, sprinkling in shoulder flounces, peplum skirts and sheer corset belts for a flirty boudoir vibe,” WWD wrote.

In addition to his collections, Valli designs an eponymous line of accessories, has a deal with Italian fur-maker Ciwifurs for his own fur coats and jackets and is creative director of Gamme Rouge, a line for Moncler.

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