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TREVISO — Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communication research center, is restructuring.
This story first appeared in the November 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Last week, during an international press conference held at the company’s headquarters — a beautiful building complex restored by Japanese architect Tadao Ando and located in the green countryside near here — Alessandro Benetton, chairman of the Italian apparel manufacturer and retailer and of Fabrica, revealed the appointment of Dan Hill as managing director. Hill is adjunct professor at Sydney University of Technology and has worked with media companies from the BBC to lifestyle magazine Monocle, which he cofounded with Tyler Brûlè in 2007.
The board of Fabrica, which Benetton described as “a school with no teachers, a place where young talents meet and share their creativity,” will also include Paul Thompson, rector of the Royal College of Art, who will serve as chairman of the advisory board.
“I think that through this new structure, Fabrica can cooperate with many other forms of communication and can develop as a crossroads of cultures and different ways to express creativity,” said Benetton, who compared the refoundation of Fabrica to the redesign of the Volkswagen Beetle. “When they relaunched the classic Beetle, they had to think of a new car to get a successful product and that’s exactly what we are doing reshaping Fabrica’s structure.”
According to Benetton, Fabrica will continue on the path developed from its foundation in 1994, emphasizing its “international twist,” and its continuous dialogue with advanced technologies.
“We have equipped ourselves with a great management and experienced people who will be able to restart from the things we know better,” Benetton added. “Our goal is to keep sharing relationships, thoughts and philosophical principles with our customers, that we have always considered as individuals, using more and more the modern technologies in a international perspective.”
Among Fabrica’s more recent projects is the campaign for the “Unemployee of the year” initiative, promoted by Benetton Group’s Unhate Foundation, and last year’s provocative images featuring a montage of close-up kisses between leaders, such as President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Hu Jintao.