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LVMH taps Dior's Jones for women's designs at Fendi

PARIS (Reuters) - Italian fashion label Fendi, part of luxury conglomerate LVMH LVMH.PA, on Wednesday named British designer Kim Jones as artistic director for womenswear collections, a role previously held by the late Karl Lagerfeld.

FILE PHOTO: A LVMH luxury group logo is seen prior to the announcement of their 2019 results in Paris, France, January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Jones, who already designs men’s clothing for LVMH stable mate Christian Dior, will retain both jobs.

At Dior and in a previous design role at Louis Vuitton, Jones was credited with freshening up collections by pairing tailoring with sportier looks, at a time when luxury brands are competing to attract younger consumers.

While sales of luxury menswear ranges have gained momentum in recent years, partly thanks to a shift towards more casual styles, they are still a sliver of labels’ revenues compared to women’s collections.

Jones will work alongside Silvia Venturini Fendi, one of the scions of the brand’s founding family who creates its menswear collections and accessories and collaborated with Lagerfeld until his death in February 2019.

Founded in 1925, Rome-based Fendi has long been known for its furs, and remains one of the most prominent exponents of fur designs.

Rivals like Chanel, Kering's PRTP.PA Gucci or Britain's Burberry BRBY.L have dropped pelts in the face of pressure from animal rights activists and changing consumer tastes.

Fendi has also found success with its double “F” logo prints and handbag collections, although LVMH does not break out revenues for its brands.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced retailers to temporarily shut stores and curtailed international travel to shopping capitals like Paris, LVMH’s biggest labels like Dior and Vuitton have maintained their momentum while smaller ones have struggled more, according to analysts.

Fendi said Jones’ first collection for the brand would be presented during Milan Fashion Week next February.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Jason Neely and Christopher Cushing

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