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The luxury industry pursues its ambitions in cinema

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto05 septembre 2023

The partnership between luxury and cinema continues to expand with long-term collaborations and investments. From the prestigious Hollywood talent agency CAA, soon to be majority-owned by François-Henri Pinault, to the Barbie film and the Miu Miu Women's Tales platform, luxury empires are showcasing their ambitions in the world of cinema.

The presence of major luxury groups in cinema has intensified, significantly changing the audiovisual offering. Screenshot from the official Barbie movie trailer (Wikipedia - MeDaydreamer)

Having already collaborated with renowned directors such as Italy's Paolo Sorrentino and Canada's David Cronenberg, François-Henri Pinault, the head of the luxury group Kering, is taking a step further by acquiring a majority stake in the prestigious talent agency CAA (Creative Artists Agents), for a reported amount of nearly $7 billion, according to Bloomberg. The transaction, expected to be completed in September, represents a significant shift in Hollywood's commercial dynamics. Pinault would thus gain control over a talent pool that includes names as reputable as Scarlett Johansson, Brad Pitt, or Tom Hanks.

Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek at the Women in Motion Awards dinner for the 76th Cannes Film Festival, May 21, 2023 (Kering)

Until now, the billionaire's acquired shares were held by the private equity fund TPG for about a decade, accounting for 53% of the company's capital. The acquisition could immediately benefit both parties: CAA could rely on Kering's financial power to enhance its activities, while Kering could leverage the agency's network and prestige within the film industry. However, administrative obstacles must still be overcome before the acquisition is finalized. Furthermore, another investment fund, Temasek, based in Singapore, is also interested in increasing its stake in CAA. To achieve this, it would need to acquire the shares currently held by the Chinese fund CMC Capital.

Influence game

Over the past few decades, the presence of major luxury groups in the film industry has intensified and significantly transformed the audiovisual landscape. The power and influence of cinema actors and directors, whose most iconic figures achieve iconic status, explain the reasons behind the convergence of luxury and cinema. As dream industries, their interests align to blend stars and dollars. Luxury product ambassadors, the actors and actresses, are guardians of the glamour and refinement displayed in storefronts. Over the years, these successful unions have multiplied. Collaborations like Marion Cotillard or Nathalie Portman with Dior and Keira Knightley with Chanel have confirmed the success of their respective influence.

Alexandre Desplat, Cyrille Vigneron, and Wes Anderson at the Glory to the Filmmaker Award by Cartier for the 80th Venice International Film Festival-Cinema 2023 Biennale (Sebastiano Pessina - Cartier)

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