Emma Watson joins board of Kering, the luxury fashion giant behind Gucci

Lifestyle

Emma Watson, the actor and activist who made her name as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, has joined the board of the French fashion giant Kering, in a major coup for the world’s second-biggest luxury group.

The British star, who was born in Paris, is the face of the Good On You app, which rates fashion brands on their ethical and sustainability credentials. Watson is also known for her work with Eco Age’s Green Carpet Challenge. She wears sustainable red carpet looks, frequently custom-made by top-tier designers, for most public appearances.

Although Kering is seen to have the environmental edge on its rival LVMH, its top labels Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga are only rated “Not good enough” or “It’s a start” by Good On You.

Watson “is one of the world’s most popular actors and best-known activists”, Kering said in a statement after the appointment of the 30-year-old, who is also a high-profile women’s rights advocate and a UN goodwill ambassador.

She was nominated on to the board by shareholders at Kering’s AGM alongside the Ivory Coast-born former CEO of Credit Suisse Group Tidjane Thiam, as well as Jean Liu, the president of “the Chinese Uber” Didi Chuxing.

Having lost Stella McCartney – arguably the world’s most ethnical luxury label – to LVMH earlier this year, recruiting Watson is a coup for Kering, which is keen to win over millennials.

Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault, who is married to Hollywood star and activist Salma Hayek, welcomed the appointments.

“Their respective knowledge and competences, and the multiplicity of their backgrounds and perspectives will be invaluable additions,” he said.

The Kering group employed more than 38,000 people worldwide at the end of 2019. Its turnover stood at €15.9bn ($17.9bn) last year, for a net profit of €2.3bn.