PARIS — John Galliano, gearing up to launch a second ready-to-wear line, will soon welcome a new top manager, WWD has learned.

According to market sources, Fabrizio Malverdi, managing director of Mila Schön at Mariella Burani Fashion Group in Italy, is slated to join Galliano in September as the company enters a new growth phase.

His exact title at Galliano could not immediately be learned, but he is expected to succeed Valerie Hermann, who last year exited as Galliano president and head of women's ready-to-wear at Christian Dior to become chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent. In the interim, Dior ceo Sidney Toledano, who also oversees strategy at Fendi, has been acting president at Galliano. Malverdi will report to Toledano.

An Italian national, Malverdi, 38, joined Burani in 2000 as director of the Calvin Klein division and has had various management responsibilities at the group, including licensing and integrating acquired companies. His résumé includes stints at Benetton, La Perla and Staff International, both in Europe and in the U.S.

He will arrive at Galliano in time for the spring 2007 retail debut of Galliano, a 300-piece second line to be produced by licensing partner IT Holding. The designer is slated to unveil the line next month.

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