Elle Magazine

I’d read the news about Claude Chirac in the past, studying her — in the political management of her father, Jacques Chirac. While she’s been defined as chilly, the fist of steel in an Herm glove, I believe that her character has more to do with her sense of observation and strategy — and carefully honed perceptions, than it does with a chilly visage.

And there was more to the work, surely — how to make some collective presentation of her father’s character — that was, for a time, the powered centre of Paris; now there’s this — her appointment by François-Henri Pinault to run the communications of Pinault Printemps Redoute. PPR. The father of everything from Christie’s to Gucci, from Bottega Veneta to Yves Saint Laurent.

And now, Claude will be managing that — what story to tell. I’d written to her, about exactly that subject. Her storytelling.

Her father. Her care. Her seeing and sensing the right presentation — of her father, counseling caution in the face of blustering competition, and acting youthfully robust, chauvinist and alive — when countered that he was old and worn-out.

John Laurenson speaks of her, in some notes he’d drafted from the BBC, as far more than a mere chaperone — but, in a way, she embodied the RPR-PR. She created the phrase — France Together. She used the Chariots of Fire, as a kind of campaign themed hymn — and, in the manner of the true packager, the storyteller, she’s the one that created the look of her father. Blackening, the hair — or as John says, except at the temples, belying the character of maturity.

But therein will be the thing to watch, is how she uses these insightful perceptions, to do something new — to create something new and different within the hallowed halls of PPR. She’ll be certainly listening with the quiet precision of her former gathering, her clan, guiding roles in the political milieu and taking le packaging to the next move. Will she be, therefore, another doting daughter figure to François-Henri Pinault.

And his positioning — An enterprise of adventure. What adventure, then, will Claude be expressing? I find these components of their brand and business to be compelling — and I’ll be watching the spin, on where they go…

From the corporate messaging, comes this — and too, I ponder what Claude’s interpretations will be to incarnation, openness, attention and flair:

With the diversity of its brands, businesses and talents, PPR is constantly on the move. The Group is the incarnation of freedom, openness to the world, attentive to men and women, and with a flair for audacious and masterful challenges.

More than the sum of its brands and companies, PPR is the incarnation of an entrepreneurial state of mind:

A development model
As a demanding Group, PPR does not simply acquire companies, it commits itself to businesses that it can develop.

A Strength
PPR makes expertise the core of the development of its brands/companies and promotes entrepreneurial spirit as well as shared managerial know-how.

A commitment
As a responsible Group, guaranteeing the performance of its brands, PPR places social and environmental responsibility at the centre of its commitments.

The Group is also characterised by:

The ability to call itself into question: PPR’s boasts a curious and open workforce, which is demanding and committed to improving its performance;
Omnipresent creativity: the essence and an integral part of Luxury goods, creativity is also important in Retail, where innovative capacity is the key to its success;
The art of capturing new trends in style and consumption, at the heart of its business lines.

I’d admire these traits — especially in the context of incarnation. That’s such an interesting turn of word, for the definition of an organization of this fabulous scale.?

Now –“78,000 employees in 75 countries. Through its Retail businesses Redcats Group, Fnac, Conforama and CFAO, and the Luxury brands of Gucci Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, YSL Beauté¬ Balenciaga, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, BEDAT & CO, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney), PPR generated sales of EUR 17.9 billion in 2006.

Tim Girvin
New York City
see the new https://www.girvin.com
c. 206.890.0621
D.log: https://www.girvin.com/blog