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French President Emmanuel Macron, 44, won a second term on Sunday widely hailed by the French luxury industry.
In the second round, Macron won around 58.8% of the vote, while his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen won 41.2% as of 9:23 p.m. local time.
“Today you have chosen an ambitious humanist project for the independence of our country, for our Europe, a republican project in its values, a social and ecological project, a project based on work and creation”, declared Macron in his victory speech on Sunday evening. First lady Brigitte Macron, known for wearing Louis Vuitton, was dressed in a blue button-up jacket and matching trousers by the brand on Sunday. “He has an ambition for France. I know where he wants to go. I will do everything. I hope it will be understood. I have immense confidence in him,” she told French television. Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing and Simon Porte Jacquemus were among those who posted their support on Instagram on Sunday night.
The luxury industry had held its breath. France accounted for just 5% of overall luxury spending in 2021, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Edouard Aubin, but the country is home to its biggest hitters, including LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton and Dior, and Kering, the parent company of Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. The French fashion industry represents 150 billion euros in direct sales1 million jobs and 2.7% of the national GDP, according to the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion.
Macron’s broadly liberal policies have been favored by businesses large and small. The industry has hailed Macron’s support for apprenticeship, which is key to luxury craftsmanship. It passed legislation in 2020 to help recruit artisans – the industry badly needs to hire an additional 20,000 artisans a year to support demand from US and Chinese luxury consumers. His program has also been to boost notable funding for French fashion startups through the public investment bank BPI, and to help companies during the pandemic with the “partial unemployment” scheme (LVMH, Kering, Chanel and Hermès haven’t used it, unlike many smaller ones).
For French luxury sales, the image of France also counts. “Emmanuel Macron telegraphs youth, modernity and international leadership, in France and abroad,” says Matthieu Chaigne, partner at BVA, a Paris-based research and polling agency. On Saturday, Macron walked along the beach in Le Touquet with his wife Brigitte, wearing a cap, denim jeans and a hoodie in the colors of the French flag. “His style is very calculated,” says Benjamin Simmenauer, a professor at the Institut Français de la Mode, who notes that he strongly promotes “Made in France” clothing. His reasonably priced suits suit a post-yellow vests movement in France (populist supporters who oppose the wealthy elite) and in light of inflation and the global context. “That said, he recently wore an expensive Fabergé Altruist watch,” adds Simmenauer.