Brioni was acquired by Kering in 2012 and continues to be a thorn in the luxury group’s side. Last October, the Italian menswear label parted company with Creative Director Justin O’Shea after he was in charge for one season only, and now it is the turn of CEO Gianluca Flore to leave
On Tuesday, Brioni confirmed the news revealed by US magazine WWD, which has reportedly tipped Fabrizio Malverdi to succeed Flore. Malverdi is the current CEO of Agent Provocateur, and was the General Manager of John Galliano, Givenchy and Dior Homme between 2011 and 2016.
Gianluca Flore took charge of Brioni in November 2014, after six years at Bottega Veneta, for whom he worked first as President of North America, then as Worldwide Retail & Wholesale Director and CEO of the Asia Pacific region.
Brioni was hit hard by the economic crisis, losing 30% of its volumes in recent years, and is undergoing a profound reorganisation, including cutting 140 jobs out of a total of 1,150 employees, and reducing working hours and salaries.
Upon publication of the 2016 annual results, Kering was rather low-key about Brioni. “When you acquire a brand, there is always a substantial amount of work to do. In 2006, the same question was asked about Yves Saint Laurent, which is now one of the group’s top-performing labels,” said François-Henri Pinault then.
“What is important is that we build for the long-term, acting on structural elements. Brioni needed a reorganisation. All of the essential positions are currently covered,” he added, though he did not hide “the difficulties [we] met at the creative level.”
Brioni owns several production plants in Italy’s central Abruzzi region, notably in Penne, the historic home of its renowned tailoring ateliers. It is a sizeable organisation, seemingly anachronistic in today’s competitive environment, and as menswear is increasingly turning towards a sportier, more casual style, whereas Brioni is still perceived as a classic label.
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