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Puma Names CEO at Chalayan

In a move to secure sales growth and profitability at its new subsidiary Hussein Chalayan, Puma AG named 33-year-old Giorgio Belloli as chief executive...

PARIS — In a move to secure sales growth and profitability at its new subsidiary Hussein Chalayan, Puma AG named 33-year-old Giorgio Belloli as chief executive officer of the London-based fashion firm.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

As reported, PPR-owned Puma, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, in February appointed Chalayan as Puma’s creative director and acquired a majority stake in the Cyprus-born designer’s signature brand.

The label, launched in 1994, is now sold in more than 40 countries. A men’s wear line was introduced in 2002 and a diffusion line dubbed Chalayan by Hussein Chalayan in 2004. The diffusion line is sold in 103 doors worldwide while Chalayan’s main line is carried by 64 stores.

“We needed a CEO before but never had the resources,” Chalayan told WWD. “I myself was so spread out that my life became too loaded.”

While Chalayan didn’t rule out a cruise collection, he said there are other projects in the pipeline. “We need to increase our product categories, expand our business and reach more people,” he said. “The idea is to make the language we have developed over the years more accessible and expand our business through the experience of our new CEO.”

Belloli, who took up the new post Monday, was most recently at Prada, where he was worldwide marketing director in charge of the Prada Sports collection, Prada Linea Rossa and the Prada Denim Project. He has also worked for Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani and Helmut Lang.

“With [Belloli’s] know-how in managing and positioning fashion brands, he will drive the development of the Hussein Chalayan brand to secure long-term growth,” stated Puma CEO and chairman Jochen Zeitz.

Belloli, who lauded Chalayan’s vision and the innovative partnership between Puma and the designer, will implement the designer’s international wholesale strategy and drive the development of existing and future categories. “I believe that the combination of Puma’s infrastructure together with PPR facilities will help the brand to gain the visibility it deserves,” he said.