PARIS — Maison Margiela is switching up its executive ranks.The Paris-based brand is to name Diesel executive Riccardo Bellini as chief executive officer, succeeding Giovanni Pungetti, a spokeswoman for Margiela parent OTB confirmed.Meanwhile Pungetti, one of the most senior executives in the Italian group, is to become ceo for the Greater China region, overseeing all of OTB's companies present in the region: Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni and Staff International.Pungetti has been at the management helm of Margiela since 2002, and between 2011 and 2015 also held the ceo title at Viktor & Rolf. His resume also includes stints at Diesel in Italy and France, and at Unilever.Bellini joined Diesel in 2007 and his most recent post was executive vice president of branding at Diesel and Diesel Black Gold and chief marketing officer at Diesel, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked at Procter & Gamble for a decade.Maison Margiela has been on an expansion path since owner Renzo Rosso rescued John Galliano from fashion limbo and appointed him as creative director in 2014.Rosso’s OTB bought its majority stake in Margiela in 2002, seen then as an odd fashion coupling. And while the hubbub around Margiela died down since the founder made his exit in 2009 after celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary, the company continued to make progress.In 2014, it generated consolidated revenues of about 100 million euros, or $133 million at average exchange, according to the last available figures.In an interview in 2015, Pungetti told WWD the company saw “big potential” in women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, the latter category accounting for less than 30 percent of sales, the biggest chunk being footwear. It also saw scope to expand its retail footprint as it was underexposed in some markets.Related Story: Renzo Rosso’s Risky Hire of John Galliano Pays OffMeanwhile, fascination with the Margiela brand continues unabated. The label’s notoriously low-profile founder has been working with Olivier Saillard, director of the Palais Galliera fashion museum in Paris, on a retrospective that is slated to bow next year.Meanwhile, Rotterdam-based production company Mint Film Office is working on a documentary titled “We Margiela” that will feature interviews with cofounder Jenny Meirens and is scheduled to be released this year. In a summary on the movie's web site, wemargiela.com, the filmmakers said Meirens is no longer in contact with Margiela.
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