What Gucci owner appointing Emma Watson to its board says about fashion

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Gucci owner Kering has shaken up the relatively staid world of the corporate boardroom by appointing Emma Watson, the British actress, as a non-executive director. But the recruitment of the Harry Potter star isn’t celebrity window dressing: Watson is a champion of sustainable fashion, so her advice to the French luxury conglomerate will be valuable.

Her every move is followed by the world’s media, and what she does will be associated with Kering from now on. She is a vocal equality campaigner, as was seen this week with her tweets of support for trans people.

Watson’s values seem to gel with those of the company, and they certainly reflect those of the younger consumers with whom Kering is eager to connect.

Each year it produces an environmental profit-and-loss account that calculates the cost of the damage to the planet attributale to the company and its supply chain. For the past decade, green targets have been included in criteria for measuring performance and calculating executive bonuses.

Increasingly, many luxury shoppers care deeply about these issues. Younger generations place as much importance on what brands stand for as they do on their products. With people under 45 generating all of the growth in the industry, staying in tune with them is crucial.

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