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PARIS—Balenciaga rocketed to the heights of the fashion world with risqué designs and runway stunts, but now that edgy approach has backfired on the brand amid a public furor over the portrayal of children in its ads. For almost two weeks the brand has been scrambling to address criticism over two ad campaigns that have angered its customers and tested the loyalty of reality TV star Kim Kardashian , its biggest ambassador. One ad campaign released in mid-November showed children holding bags in the shape of teddy bears clad in what some people said looked like bondage gear. Another, released a few days later, featured a document related to a Supreme Court ruling against child pornography.
Kim Kardashian appeared on a Balenciaga advertising billboard near Times Square, New York, in February. Kim Kardashian said she was re-evaluating her business ties with Balenciaga after the fashion brand ran a controversial campaign featuring children holding teddy bears clad in bondage gear. Ms. Kardashian, a reality TV star who founded the undergarment and apparel business Skims, weighed in on the controversy after critics and fans demanded over social media that she condemn the brand.
Kim Kardashian said she was re-evaluating her business ties with Balenciaga after the fashion brand ran a controversial campaign featuring children holding teddy bears that appear to be clad in bondage gear. Ms. Kardashian, a reality TV star who founded the undergarment and apparel business Skims, weighed in on the controversy after critics and fans demanded over social media that she condemn the brand.
Adidas to Probe Misconduct Allegations Against Kanye West
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Kanye West had been working with Adidas to market the Yeezy sneaker line. Adidas AG has launched an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by Kanye West while the sportswear giant was working with the musician to develop and sell their Yeezy sneaker line. The German company said Thursday that it would start the probe after receiving an anonymous letter making a number of allegations against Mr. West, who goes by Ye.
Gucci’s Creative Chief to Step Down
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Alessandro Michele, shown in September, took on the creative director role at Gucci in 2015. Alessandro Michele , whose eccentric designs reinvigorated Gucci, is stepping down as creative director of the Italian luxury brand as a period of rapid growth peters out. Parent company Kering SA said in a statement late Wednesday that Mr. Michele was leaving his post at the fashion house having “played a fundamental part in making the brand what it is today.”
The challenge facing Adidas is how to cushion the financial blow from ending its Yeezy label partnership with Kanye West. Adidas AG again cut revenue and earnings guidance for the year to account for the end of its Yeezy label partnership with musician and designer Kanye West. The German sporting-goods giant now expects 2022 revenue to increase by a low-single-digit percentage at constant currency, from previous guidance in the mid single digits, it said Wednesday. Net profit from continuing operations should come in at around 250 million euros, equivalent to $251.9 million, half what it previously expected, with a gross margin of 47% and an operating margin of just 2.5%, Adidas said.
Adidas AG said it would start selling shoes based on Yeezy designs in a bid to rebound after scrapping the lucrative partnership with musician and designer Kanye West that had spawned one of the company’s most successful product lines. Finance chief Harm Ohlmeyer said the sporting-goods giant was the sole owner of all rights to existing products, except from the Yeezy name, and that the company intended to make use of those rights as early as the end of next year.
PARIS—France’s Renault SA and China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. are forming a joint venture focused on gasoline-powered engines and hybrid technology, the latest example of auto makers sharing the burden of development costs as the industry grapples with the transition toward electric vehicles. Renault announced the deal Tuesday as it detailed plans to split itself into several divisions, including the combustion-engine-focused venture with Geely and another on electric vehicles and software, which it plans to spin off as soon as next year. It said it was in talks with longtime alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. about the Japanese company investing in the EV business, though didn’t provide a time frame for reaching an agreement.
Adidas Appoints Puma Boss Bjørn Gulden as CEO
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Bjørn Gulden was chosen to be the chief executive of Adidas. Adidas AG said it tapped Bjørn Gulden to take over as chief executive of the sportswear giant, luring the executive away from crosstown rival Puma SE as it grapples with issues ranging from the future of its popular Yeezy sneaker brand to sliding market share in China. Adidas said last week it was in talks with Mr. Gulden as a possible successor to incumbent Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted . Puma had earlier announced Mr. Gulden’s departure after nine years in charge.
Renault to Separate EV Unit in Sweeping Overhaul
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
PARIS— Renault SA said it would split itself into several divisions, putting its core business making conventionally powered cars into a joint venture with a Chinese partner and detailing plans for a separate stock-market listing of its electric-vehicle division. The restructuring, one of the most radical in the French auto maker’s 124-year history, will leave Renault mostly focused on electric vehicles. Executives hope the overhaul will attract investment and give it the wherewithal to tackle the expensive transition away from the internal combustion engine that the entire auto industry is grappling with.
The American father and son who helped former Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Chairman Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan have returned to the U.S. after spending 20 months in Japanese jails. Michael Taylor , a 62-year-old former Green Beret, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles with a release date set for Jan. 1, 2023, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. His son Peter Taylor is back home in Massachusetts with his family, according to their lawyer, Paul V. Kelly . Mr. Kelly said he was in discussions with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and parole officials about releasing his client sooner. Bloomberg News reported earlier that the Taylors were back in the U.S.
EDF’s warning of lower expected nuclear-power output in France is a setback to the country’s efforts to ride out Europe’s energy crisis. PARIS— EDF SA warned of lower power generation this year across its nuclear reactors in France, dealing a setback to the country’s efforts to ride out Europe’s energy crisis amid a spell of unseasonably warm weather. EDF, the world’s largest owner of nuclear plants, said its French fleet of reactors are expected to produce between 275 and 285 terawatt-hours of energy in 2022, compared with a previous estimate of between 280 and 300 terawatt-hours.
France’s EDF Warns of Lower Output Across Nuclear Fleet
  + stars: | 2022-11-04 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
PARIS— EDF SA warned of lower power generation this year across its nuclear reactors in France, dealing a setback to the country’s efforts to ride out Europe’s energy crisis amid a spell of unseasonably warm weather. EDF, the world’s largest owner of nuclear plants, said its French fleet of reactors are expected to produce between 275 and 285 terawatt-hours of energy in 2022, compared with a previous estimate of between 280 and 300 terawatt-hours.
Adidas in Talks With Puma Executive for CEO Role
  + stars: | 2022-11-04 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Bjørn Gulden is a former professional soccer player who had led Puma since 2013. Struggling sportswear giant Adidas AG said Friday it is in talks with Bjørn Gulden , the departing CEO of Puma SE, to succeed its own chief executive. The news came minutes after Puma said it had appointed a new CEO to succeed Mr. Gulden, a former professional soccer player who had led Puma since 2013.
Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are struggling to nail down a deal that would reshape their alliance, with intellectual property among the sticking points, according to people with knowledge of the talks. Discussions so far between Renault and Nissan have outlined a plan under which the French auto maker would reduce its current 43% stake in its Japanese partner to 15%, people at the companies said. The shares to be disposed of would be put into an independent financial trust and then sold at a later date at a predetermined price, the people said.
Western sanctions brought Russia’s car industry to a screeching halt earlier this year. As it restarts, it is emerging smaller, technologically backward and more isolated—a foreshadowing of what could be in store for the rest of the embattled Russian economy. Within weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most Western car companies curtailed operations in the country. Sanctions cut off the supply of parts and, one after another, Russian car plants stopped production. By May, car production was down 97% compared with a year ago.
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Demand for Luxury Goods Defies Price Hikes
  + stars: | 2022-10-20 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com. https://www.wsj.com/articles/demand-for-luxury-goods-defies-price-hikes-11666266813
LVMH Sales Rise as U.S. Tourists Splurge in Europe
  + stars: | 2022-10-11 | by ( Nick Kostov | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
The company, with luxury brands including Christian Dior, said sales at its fashion and leather-goods division rose 27% in the latest quarter. PARIS— LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE said Tuesday its third-quarter revenue rose 27% as U.S. tourists spent freely in Paris and other European capitals and Covid-19-related disruptions eased in China. LVMH posted revenue of €19.76 billion ($19.26 billion), beating expectations. The conglomerate’s fashion and leather-goods division—which accounts for almost half of its revenue—posted a 27% increase in sales to €9.69 billion for the three months ended in September.
Burberry’s sales have largely flatlined since 2017 while the luxury industry as a whole has boomed. U.K. fashion house Burberry PLC appointed Daniel Lee as its chief designer in an attempt to breathe new life into the maker of iconic trench coats. Mr. Lee will join the company on Oct. 3, overseeing all Burberry collections, the London-based company said. Mr. Lee is expected to present his debut runway collection for the brand at London Fashion Week in February 2023. He will report to the company’s new chief executive, Jonathan Akeroyd .
BORDEAUX, France—The wildfire began on an usually dry summer day in a forest bordering the Liber Pater vineyard. Winemaker Loïc Pasquet saw the flames rise and spread toward his precious vines, which produce Bordeaux that sells for $30,000 a bottle. Hours before evacuating Mr. Pasquet and his staff destroyed the grass around the vineyard to prevent it from catching fire and dug trenches to block the blaze’s path. He also sprayed local trees with water drawn from the vineyard’s ponds. The vineyard was spared.
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