MILAN — Gucci Group has been pulled into one of Italy’s so-called “spy stories” stemming from an investigation of illicit access to the Ministry of Interior’s data bank.
A Gucci Group spokesman confirmed that the Prosecutor’s Office in Florence this week ordered a search of the company’s offices there and in Milan and Rome. “The search is a result of the investigation on suspicion of the crime of revelation and use of official secrets,” Gucci said in a statement. The company is “fully collaborating with the authorities,” it added.
For two years, a group of Florentine magistrates has been looking into the work of a number of investigative agencies and their allegedly illegal methods to secure information. One of the seven people arrested so far is Carlo Del Bo, Gucci’s former head of security. Del Bo, who left the company in spring 2007, worked with Luigi Martini, owner of investigative agency Sia, who is also under arrest. Gucci severed ties with Martini last year.
The spokesman said Gucci regularly checks on suppliers and its sales network in its fight against counterfeits. “We have a social responsibility,” said the spokesman. “We want our suppliers to respect the workforce, steering clear of child labor, for example, and to commit to regular tax payments.” Gucci, said the spokesman, was unaware of the methods put in place to obtain this information. The investigation has unearthed the fact that, as many private investigators here are former policemen or tax officers, they may have access to secret state or police information.
“The Gucci brand has taken a leadership position in the industry by obtaining in August 2007 the official certification (SA 8000) for the leather goods and jewelry supply chains,” the company added. “The certification — released by an independent and internationally recognized body, Bureau Veritas — stands for the values of business ethics, respect for human rights, workers’ health and safety and equal opportunities. We strongly believe in these values and all our suppliers have agreed to adhere to the conditions established by the independent body. The respect for these standards is an indispensable condition to continue collaborating with Gucci.”
The arrest of Del Bo is also connected to the investigation of a policeman’s suicide two years ago and to another “spy story” scandal involving wiretaps on numerous peoples’ phones, reportedly including that of Alessandra Facchinetti, Valentino’s former creative director and former head of women’s design at Gucci. As reported in July, the interceptions of phone conversations was discovered in 2006, but were begun 10 years earlier by Giuliano Tavaroli, former chief of security at Italian Telecom, and Marco Mancini, the former number two at the country’s SISMI military intelligence agency. Targets of the illegal domestic surveillance program included politicians, bankers, entrepreneurs, journalists, starlets and soccer players. According to Italian press reports, Facchinetti’s phone conversations were also tapped, although it is unclear for what reasons.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@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