Gucci CEO di Marco, creative director Giannini to leave, Bottega Veneta’s Bizzarri appointed new head

Italian luxury fashion house Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini is to step down alongside its CEO Patrizio di Marco, parent Kering announced Friday.

Kering-owned Bottega Veneta’s CEO Marco Bizzarri is to replace di Marco while a new creative director to be appointed later, it said.

Speculation over the departure of Giannini and di Marco is expected to be strong seeing as they are a couple.

di Marco will leave on January 1 with Giannini departing at the end of February after showing her autumn/winter 2015-2016 womenswear collection on February 25.

di Marco has been with Kering for more than 13 years, joining the group in 2001 as CEO of Bottega Veneta responsible for successfully relaunching the brand.

As Gucci CEO, Kering said di Marco defined the brand elevation strategy implemented during his
six-year tenure that was “instrumental in recapturing the sophisticated consumer, improving the overall quality of the sales mix and conquering market share in the upscale segment”.

Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said: “The great performances achieved by the Gucci brand during his tenure stand as a testament to his success. His strategic vision, passion, dedication and charisma were key to bring Gucci where it is today.”

Meanwhile, Giannini has been with the Kering Group and Gucci for over 12 years, first joining Gucci in 2002, assuming the role of head of design for Leather Goods from 2004 and adding the responsibility of head of design for women’s ready-to-wear from 2005. In 2006, she was appointed as sole creative director of the Florentine House.

“Over those years, Frida Giannini managed to combine creativity, constant product research and innovation, with the nearly 100-year legacy of the brand, making Gucci a leader in luxury and fashion and a true expression of ‘Made in Italy’”, a Kering statement read.

“She gave a new image to the Gucci stores and developed new product categories with great success, being notably the key person behind the success of Gucci’s license business (fragrance, beauty and eyewear)”.

Pinault said: “She has been the sole creative director of Gucci for close to a decade. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering the level and breadth of responsibility of overviewing all the aspects related to product and image for such a global brand during such a long period of time. I am truly grateful to her for her achievements, creativity and the passion that she has always instilled in her work.”

Meaning new Gucci CEO Bizzarri joined the Kering group in 2005 as CEO of Stella McCartney and was appointed CEO of Bottega Veneta in January 2009. Bizzarri will continue to report directly to Pinault.

Kering added that this leadership transition “will not result in any change in the organisation” of Kering Luxury activities that was announced earlier this year. Pinault will become interim CEO of the Luxury – Couture & Leather Goods division, awaiting the appointment of a new executive.

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