MILAN — Swiss independent asset management firm Da Vinci Invest AG has acquired Bruno Magli SpA from Fortelus Capital Management LLP and appointed Manfred Ebensberger as the brand’s new chief executive officer effective immediately.
This is a surprising twist as the British investment fund Fortelus Capital, which acquired Bruno Magli in 2007, said at the end of October it had entered into exclusive negotiations with a consortium of South Korean investors that included E-Land Group and Asian private equity investor CDIB Capital to sell the entirety of the storied Italian footwear brand.
Hendrik Klein, owner of Da Vinci Invest AG, which is based in Zurich and manages its own investment funds and individual accounts of private investors, said on Thursday: “I am very convinced of the investment we did with Bruno Magli, a brand representing the excellence of Made in Italy and of the manufacturing of its products, which are renowned all over the world. I trust in the management of the company that will be fully dedicated to the development of this brand.”
The London-based Fortelus had started a turnaround of Bruno Magli in 2007, tapped Max Kibardin as the brand’s creative director in 2011, and strengthened its distribution network in Europe, the Middle East, the U.S. and Asia, while also developing a strong wholesale organization globally. The company has been expanding its product range from the core footwear business. Today, it markets shoes, bags, small leather goods and a capsule collection of ready-to-wear for men and women. Fortelus took control of the brand from private-equity fund Opera.
Ebensberger, who succeeds Armin Mueller, said the company, which is to remain headquartered in Italy, was “very excited about the opportunity to continue the global relaunch of the brand and to provide consistency in our product and market development. The new ownership will provide the strength and flexibility to accelerate this process. We now look forward to the next phase of growth while preserving the values of distinctive design and workmanship, outstanding quality and strong heritage, which are a fundamental part of the Bruno Magli identity.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)