GUCCI SAID TO BE CLOSING IN ON MCCARTNEY, GHESQUIERE

PARIS — Even though an inquiry will soon be under way into mismanagement at Gucci Group regarding the ESOP and PPR transactions, don’t expect the group to put a freeze on its luxury spending.
Sources in Europe and America said Thursday that Gucci was close to completing deals to back fashion houses for Stella McCartney and Nicolas Ghesquiere. As reported in WWD, Gucci has been in hot pursuit of Ghesquiere for months and in negotiations with McCartney, whose contract with Chloe is slated to expire soon.
Gucci recently completed its acquisitions of controlling stakes in Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta, and is said to be eyeing Geneva-based jewelry and watch firm Chopard and the Italian fragrance company Acqua di Parma.
Citing his company’s policy, a Gucci spokesman declined to comment on potential acquisitions.
Should the Ghesquiere and McCartney deals come to fruition, it will add to a growing list of vacancies at European fashion houses.
As reported, Roberto Menichetti is exiting Burberry and Ghesquiere has severed ties with the Italian house Callaghan. Meanwhile, Narcisco Rodriguez’s contract at Loewe expires this fall and he is not expected to renew, sources said. And, of course, should Ghesqueire and McCartney wind up at Gucci group, Balenciaga and Chloe will have to put out help-wanted ads, too.