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The French luxury group was one of the investors behind Katie Haun's crypto wallet Haun Ventures, unveiled in March, chief customer and digital officer Gregory Boutté unveiled Friday in a speech at Kering Imagination Lab, the company's innovative digital innovation center in Paris.

And it has recently reached out to digital currencies by offering customers the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrencies at Gucci stores, initially on key U.S. flags. Balenciaga is set to follow "immediately" and will accept cryptocurrency payments on its e-commerce site via the special payment service BitPay. Boutté dismissed the recent turmoil as part of the study.

"We are confident that cryptocurrencies will remain here," he said. “They are highly respected. Much wealth has been created through these investments. Some of our customers with these types of funds would like to be able to use them to buy our products, so in order to provide our customers with the best information you can, it makes sense to offer this option. ”

He noted that Kering has a “test and learning” approach and will be monitoring developments at Gucci, which introduced the election two weeks ago, along with Balenciaga, before deciding to expand the payment system to other models.

"That's one of the great benefits of having our own stadium: it allows us to decide on the development we want to pursue," he said. Kering last year completed the process of including its e-commerce operations, which account for 15 percent of total revenue, by merging Balenciaga with Bottega Veneta.

With its Kering Ventures fund, the team is investing in a few small start-ups or in technologies aimed at helping a glamorous future customer.

Haun has been a partner in Silicon Valley's main business company, Andreessen Horowitz, and Kering executives, including chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault, also met Marc Andreessen, one of the industry's most respected businessmen, on a recent trip to California to explore energy. -metaverse in its business.

Separately, Kering partnered last year on a fund launched by investment company Cathay Capital that invests in emerging Chinese companies with the potential for high growth in consumer and retail real estate sectors.

“In China and the topic of Web3 and cryptocurrencies, we see the need to learn, so we want to work with people who know these sites better than we do, so that we can exchange them with similar interest topics, as well as them. to help us formalize how these technologies or regions can comply with that, ”said Boutté.

The Kering Imagination Lab, which opened last year and is home to 200 employees, will host a hackathon on July 20 and 21 where employees will be encouraged to submit their ideas on how Web3 can run a glamorous business. The judge led by Pinault will nominate the winner, his opinion which may be used by one of the team's labels.

Boutté elaborated on how new design and data were applied to all aspects of Kering's work, from 3D product development, now used to improve between 30 and 40 percent carryover styles, to machine learning algorithms that assist editors. Gucci to put a list of store names with 20 percent accuracy than before.

“Digital is not just about e-commerce. It can apply to all dimensions of our value chain, ”he said. "I think we're ahead of the curve in this, and we have a very open way to innovate."

Kering also brings its "exploration and learning" approach to the metaverse, with Gucci selling the digital version of its Dionysus wallet to Roblox, and Balenciaga in partnership with Epic Games' Fortnite.

“There are 2.5 billion people who play video games every month, who are in this situation, who use these platforms and spend a lot of time in the real world. We believe that the physical world will be more focused on our lives, ”said Boutté. "We think Web3 and NFTs in particular represent a real disruption and we want to be at the heart of this disruption."

Source: yahoo

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