End the duopoly

The French billionaire whose company controls luxury giants like Gucci says brands should be taking ‘bold public positions’ against the mistreatment of women

Kering’s CEO and chairman, François-Henri Pinault, spoke at the annual Women’s Forum in Paris on Wednesday about the #MeToo Movement and gender inequality.

Kering is one of the largest luxury-goods companies in the world, owning brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta.

At the forum, Pinault said it was important for companies to be leaders and to take decisive stances on important issues.

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“Companies in the 21st century, we need to have a sense of purpose that goes much beyond our business goals as part of the strategy of the company, as part of the culture of the company,” he said, according to Women’s Wear Daily. “We shouldn’t be afraid as companies, as leaders, to take bold public positions on certain very important societal topics.”

This isn’t Pinault’s first time speaking out about women’s rights

Women’s Wear Daily reports that Pinault and his wife, the actress Salma Hayek, have long been champions of women’s rights, mainly through their work with the Kering Foundation, which seeks to “combat violence against women.” Kering also launched Women in Motion, which seeks to highlight women working in the film industry and to promote gender equality in that industry. The Women in Motion award is presented annually at the Cannes Film Festival, with past winners including Jane Fonda in 2015, Isabelle Huppert in 2017, and the “Wonder Woman” director, Patty Jenkins, in 2018, Variety reports.

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