The families behind fashion giants LVMH and Kering, two of France’s largest companies, have pledged 300 million euros to help rebuild the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris which with the help of over 400 firefighters was saved from total destruction from a massive blaze starting late afternoon Monday, April 15th.
Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father, Francois Pinault, said around midnight local time that they would donate €100 million via the family investment vehicle Artemis to help finance repairs to the building. This morning on Twitter, François-Henri Pinault tweeted “Faced with this tragedy, my father and I have decided to contribute to the funds needed to fully rebuild Our Lady of Paris, in order to bring this jewel back to life as soon as possible.”. Kerring is the parent company to such iconic brands as Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and more. The make eyewear under the brand names Gucci, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Alaïa, Courrèges, Montblanc, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, McQ, and Puma.
At the same time, Bernard Arnail, the chairman and CEO of LVMH followed with a pledge of €200 million. A statement on the LVMH website this morning stated
“The Arnault family and the LVMH Group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are committed to assist with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity.
They will donate a total sum of 200 million euros to the fund dedicated to the reconstruction of this architectural work, which is a core part of the French History.
In the meantime, the LVMH Group puts at the disposal of the State and the relevant authorities all its teams – including creative, architectural and financial specialists – to help with the long work of reconstruction and fundraising, which is already in progress.”
LVMH reported revenues in excess of 46 billion euros in 2018 with 70 houses of fashion in their portfolio, including Dom Pérignon, Chandon, Hennesy, Givenchy, Sephora, Berluti, Marc Jacobs, Celine, Christian Dior, Loro Piana, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and more. LVMH sells eyewear under the Thélios umbrella, a joint venture between LVMH and Marcolin that started in 2018, including such names as Fred, Loewe, Celine, Fred, Kenzo, and Berluti. Several of LVMH’s fashion brands are manufactured by other eyewear companies such as Dior who is made under a license agreement with Safilo, which expires currently in 2020.
The French oil company, Total, has also pledged 100 million euros to rebuild Notre-Dame.