New designers shape the future at Storied Brands in Italy – WWD
MILAN — A new group of young designers will unveil their first collections for some of Italy’s most famous brands this month, coinciding with significant ownership and C-suite changes.
Marco De Vincenzo, who joined Etro as its new creative director in June, is set to mark another milestone for the brand which began with the acquisition of a majority stake by L Catterton in July 2021, followed by the arrival of Fabrizio Cardinali’s Dolce & Gabbana as general manager last September.
Founder Gerolamo, or Gimmo, Etro’s children Veronica, Kean and Jacopo, who previously served as creative directors of the women’s, men’s and home collections respectively, continue to collaborate with the house, but Cardinali said that, thanks to the ” De Vincenzo’s sensitivity for colors, prints and fabrics”, he was convinced that the designer “will know how to best interpret the extraordinary heritage of Etro” and that he will “give new impetus to the world of accessories”.
The designer, former Vogue Italia “Who Is on Next?” talent search, known for its labor-intensive garments, optical effects, rich fabrics and sophisticated embellishments, has worked on accessories for years as a consultant for Fendi with Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. His first creations for Etro will bow on September 23 during Milan Fashion Week.
Etro’s show will take place hours after Filippo Grazioli’s revamped vision for Missoni. This will mark Grazioli’s first show since joining the brand as creative director last March. He was already responsible for the men’s spring and resort collections unveiled via presentations earlier this summer. Grazioli was approached by CEO Livio Proli, who joined the company in 2020, as part of a reorganization following the Missoni family’s sale of a 41.2% stake in the company to Italian fund FSI in 2018.
On September 24, Maximilian Davis will present his first creations as creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo with a mixed show. Born in Manchester and a graduate of the London College of Fashion, Davis founded his label Maximilian in 2020, which he put on the back burner to devote himself entirely to Ferragamo. Davis launched her eponymous brand after working as a junior designer at Grace Wales Bonner, and previously worked as a freelance designer for Mowalola, Asai and Supriya Lele.
His arrival, succeeding Paul Andrew, is one of the first tangible signs of CEO Marco Gobbetti’s tenure. Gobbetti joined Ferragamo from Burberry last January, and last May said he aimed to double the company’s revenue in four to five years and double marketing and communications spending as a percentage of revenues from 2023. This will lead to a cumulative investment of €400 million over the period 2023 to 2026, focused on store renovations, technology and supply chain.
“His clarity of vision along with the level of execution and powerful aesthetic make him one of the brightest talents of his generation. Her work is defined by elegance, refined sensuality and an abiding commitment to quality,” Gobbetti said of Davis upon his appointment as Creative Director. “Through his lens of contemporary sensibility, he will write an exciting new chapter for this house built on a legacy of creativity, craftsmanship, sophistication and exceptional human values.”
Last year, the Florence-based company announced a return to black, posting a profit of 81 million euros against a loss of 72 million euros in 2020, and a 29.5% increase in revenue to 1.13 billion euros.
The Swiss company Bally, which traditionally organizes presentations, makes its debut on the catwalk in Milan with the first collection designed by Rhuigi Villaseñor, the Manila-born designer behind the Rhude brand.
Villaseñor joined Bally in January. CEO Nicolas Girotto hailed his arrival as part of repositioning the brand and said he was “ready to take Bally to the next level” with the designer.
At Rhude, the designer specialized in high-end streetwear, casual tailoring and silk pieces with a Rat Pack-style swagger, sometimes incorporating the bandana print as his signature. He has had several collaborations: with the luxury car manufacturer McLaren to produce capsule fashion collections, with Thierry Lasry on sunglasses, and with Instant Pot on kitchen utensils. And with his fan base of athletes and musicians, he should bring a new buzz to Bally.
Showing off-schedule on September 25 at its Milan flagship store on Corso Buenos Aires, United Colors of Benetton will present the first collection designed by new Creative Director Andrea Incontri. CEO Massimo Renon said The arrival of Incontri “will bring new impetus to a story of success going through a generational change” leading to an “urgent redefinition of the social role of fashion and ready-to-wear”. Incontri served as Tod’s Male Creative Director for five years until 2019.
A graduate in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano, Incontri launched his eponymous brand in 2009, won the men’s edition of “Who Is on Next?” talent search in 2010 in the accessories category, then developed a men’s and women’s collection in its own right. Incontri succeeds Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, appointed artistic director of Benetton in 2018.
Eyes will also be on the journey of Milanese label Off-White. At the end of April, Ibrahim Kamara was appointed artistic and image director of the brand founded by Virgil Abloh, whose death last year at the age of 41 sent shock waves not only in the world of fashion, but also in culture at large, music at the skate scene. Kamara, the editor-in-chief of Dazed, has been part of the Off-White family for years, styling the brand’s runways in addition at being the stylist of choice for many other fashion designers, ranging from Riccardo Tisci at Erdem Moralioglu. Before assuming the atp working at Dazed, Kamara has produced editorials for iD, System, Vogue Italia and Another magazine.