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MILAN — Valentino’s new creative director Alessandra Facchinetti is once again in the limelight, but this time it has nothing to do with fashion.
This story first appeared in the July 23, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Facchinetti’s name has been linked to Italy’s so-called “Spy-Story” scandal involving wiretaps on numerous peoples’ phones, which is making headlines here with its political implications. The interceptions of phone conversations were discovered in 2006, but they actually were begun 10 years earlier by Giuliano Tavaroli, former chief of security at Italian Telecom, and Marco Mancini, the former number two at the country’s SISMI military intelligence agency.
Targets of the illegal domestic surveillance program included politicians, bankers, entrepreneurs, journalists, starlets and soccer players. After years of investigation, more than 5,000 names have emerged as possible witnesses in the upcoming court cases against Tavaroli and Mancini. According to Italian press reports, Facchinetti’s phone conversations were also tapped, although it is unclear for what reasons. Facchinetti declined comment Tuesday.
Italy’s daily newspaper La Repubblica speculated on Tuesday that the designer’s phone was tapped just as she was engaged in a legal battle with Prada’s chief executive Patrizio Bertelli — although there is no indication Prada or Bertelli had any knowledge of the wiretapping.
When Facchinetti quit her post as fashion coordinator for women’s and men’s at Miu Miu in June 2001, she ran into a noncompete clause that restricted her from working at another fashion house for six months. According to sources at the time, the designer didn’t wait the stipulated time period, moving on to Gucci to become design director for women’s wear at the end of September.
Bertelli sued, and a court ruled against Facchinetti. To make sure she respected the verdict, Prada unleashed investigators, who allegedly found the designer lugging boxes from her apartment to the Gucci offices.
In addition, Facchinetti was somewhat of a celebrity in Italy even before she became a fashion figure since she is the daughter of Roby Facchinetti, the keyboard player for the famous rock band I Pooh, and the sister of popular hip-hop singer/DJ Francesco.