EXCLUSIVE: Valérie Duport Is Exiting Kering

NEW HORIZONS: Valérie Duport, chief communications and image officer at Kering, is leaving the French luxury group effective Friday, WWD has learned.

The company confirmed that Duport “has taken the decision to pursue other projects outside Kering.” It did not elaborate, and Duport could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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Duport joined Kering in early 2016 after an illustrious, 27-year career at Chanel.

She arrived as Kering sharpened its focus as a pure luxury and fashion player, and took up residence at the old Laennec hospital, a tranquil complex of 17th-century stone buildings arranged in cross formations and located on the Rue de Sèvres in Paris.

The move to Laennec capped the transformation of Kering, controlled by the Pinault family and previously known as the retail-driven group PPR. The complex would soon host fashion shows, art exhibitions and European Heritage Days, burnishing Kering’s corporate and community image.

Last year saw Duport overseeing two big milestones: the 10th anniversary of Kering and 60 years of the group’s founding. François Pinault and his son François-Henri Pinault hosted a lavish dinner, and are the key protagonists in “Kering: Of Granite and Dreams,” a Flammarion book that details the company’s history.

A discreet, upbeat executive who prized elegance and culture in communications and events, Duport was charged with developing and safeguarding Kering’s visibility and reputation. She also helped guide communications strategies at Kering’s brands, which include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Pomellato.

Duport began her career in 1988 in the press department of Chanel’s fragrances and beauty division in Paris. In 1994, she joined the communications department of its watches and fine jewelry division, which she managed from 1997. In 2008, she was appointed international director of press services and external relations at Chanel.

A French national, Duport is a graduate of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, where she studied contemporary history.

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