Missoni Reshuffles Management

The Missoni family is restructuring, recently letting go of four managers, and further centralizing its operations.

MILAN — The Missoni family is restructuring and further centralizing its operations.

This story first appeared in the October 2, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company has let go of four managers, including its director of licenses, Maurizio Cirimin, and its communications and marketing director, Annamaria Altamura. Vittorio Missoni, who oversees institutional affairs at the privately owned Italian company, said the firm’s restructuring is a move to contain costs while keeping all of the 250 employees at the Sumirago manufacturing plant.

“Given the current uncertain market, it’s fundamental to be attentive to costs,” said Missoni, adding the company hasn’t needed to ask for any government redundancy funds as have other Italian fashion firms, such as La Perla. The executive said keeping the brand’s production in Italy is a top priority.

Missoni alluded to a different strategic vision with some of the managers that have exited the company. “I believe it’s a time to consolidate our business and think short-term rather than long-term,” he said. The company reported sales of 81 million euros in 2008, or $119 million at average exchange rates. For 2009, Missoni estimates a 10 percent drop in revenues.

Missoni, son of founders Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, said his sister, creative director Angela Missoni, will begin to oversee marketing and communications with her staff. Their brother Luca is in charge of the newly founded Ottavio and Rosita Missoni Foundation, which aims to promote and preserve the history of the brand and his father’s original art. Massimo Gasparini remains chief executive officer.

Missoni said market reaction is more upbeat than a few months ago, while conceding it is still a period of adjustment. “The worst is over and I’ve seen more positive signs from the American West Coast, compared to the East Coast,” he said. “We are working well, buyers from American department stores are writing their orders as we speak and I’m quite pleased.”

The company is not slowing down its expansion, with plans to develop its retail network. Its first store in Brazil will open at the end of November in São Paulo’s Iguatemi shopping mall. The store will cover more than 2,160 square feet. A boutique in Los Angeles will open in January, followed by one in Malibu, Calif. There are 40 Missoni boutiques around the world.