10 Things You Didn’t Know About Francesca Bellettini

An exceptional leader behind an esteemed luxury fashion brand, Francesca Bellettini is known as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). However, there’s more to this extraordinary businesswoman than meets the eye. Read on to discover ten interesting facts about Francesca Bellettini that you might not know.

1. She’s not French

Considering her influential role at the helm of the storied French fashion label, it might surprise you to learn that Francesca Bellettini isn’t actually French by birth. She was born and raised in Italy, and even started her fashion career in the country working with brands like Prada and Gucci.

Despite the cultural differences, Francesca has always expressed her deep love for France. France’s rich fashion history and unique style have had a significant impact on her, strongly influencing her career trajectory.

2. She started as an auditor

Bellettini’s entrance into the fashion industry wasn’t exactly conventional. After her graduation from Bocconi University in Milan, she began her career as an auditor at Goldman Sachs. Although it was a far cry from haute couture, she credits this early experience with teaching her the business acumen necessary to run a global luxury fashion brand.

Shortly after, she transitioned to the fashion industry, where she’s stood out not just for her creative insights but also for her financial fluency – rare in an industry dominated by creative personalities.

3. She has a passion for art

Francesca Bellettini has a well-known passion for art. She is a frequent visitor to art galleries and museums, and often cites art as a source of creative inspiration. This love of art isn’t confined to her private life either; since joining YSL, she has initiated collaborations with various artists.

Her connection with the artistic community goes beyond fashion collaborations. She is a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and sees her involvement with the council as a way of contributing to the worlds of both art and fashion.

4. She transformed YSL

Since her appointment as the CEO of YSL in 2013, Francesca Bellettini has significantly transformed the brand. Under her leadership, the brand tripled its revenues and doubled its store count globally. Her ability to blend YSL’s rich heritage with modern, avant-garde designs has been hailed as a major factor in the brand’s success.

The tremendous growth isn’t all Francesca brought to YSL. She cultivated an inclusive work environment and elevated the brand’s digital presence – ensuring its relevance to modern consumers while respecting its established reputation.

5. She’s a champion of sustainability

Bellettini is a fervent advocate of sustainability in the fashion industry. She was among those leading the charge at YSL to adopt more sustainable materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

Under her watch, YSL joined the Fashion Pact in 2019 – a global coalition of fashion brands committed to combating climate change. They have also announced initiatives to become carbon neutral within their own operations, showcasing Francesca’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

6. She was awarded Legion of Honour

In 2020, Francesca Bellettini was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour – France’s highest order of merit. This decoration is a testament to her contribution to French culture and the economy through her work at YSL.

More than a personal honor, Francesca views this award as a recognition of the entire YSL team’s hard work, creativity, and commitment to excellence.

7. She’s not just about YSL

While she is most celebrated for her role at YSL, Bellettini has a vast career in the fashion industry that spans over more than two decades. Before joining YSL, she was an executive at Gucci, serving as the Operational and Commercial Director of Women’s ready-to-wear.

She also spent time as the Director of Collections at Prada Group, where she managed the Miu Miu brand. Her vast experience certainly contributes to her ability to lead the YSL team effectively.

8. She never planned to be a CEO

Despite being one of the most lauded CEOs in the fashion industry today, Bellettini admits that she never planned to be in her current position. Rather, she focused on doing her best in each role she held and took opportunities as they came.

She believes in the importance of learning in every experience and fostering relationships. It’s this nature of humility, staying curious and her profound dedication that ultimately led her to be the esteemed CEO of YSL.

9. She’s a mother

Amidst her high-profile career, she’s also a doting mother. Francesca often speaks about the joys and challenges of balancing her role as a mom with her duties as a CEO.

Bellettini believes being a mother has helped her become a better leader. The empathy and patience she’s learned as a parent, she says, plays a big role in her approach to team leadership.

10. She’s a mentor to many women

Francesca doesn’t just ace her professional duties but also guides and inspires women in the fashion industry. As one of the few female CEOs in the luxury fashion world, she is acutely aware of the challenges women face.

She actively participates in mentoring, offers career guidance, and tirelessly advocates for more female representation in decision-making roles in the industry.

So, there you have it, ten things you might not have known about Francesca Bellettini – a remarkable woman who seamlessly juggles multiple roles and continues to redefine what success in the luxury fashion industry looks like.

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