By  on April 3, 2008

MILAN — Alessandro Dell'Acqua may be headed to Malo now that the creative post there is vacant.

A spokeswoman at IT Holding, which controls both Malo and Ferré, and a Dell'Acqua spokesman declined comment, but sources said the designer is in talks about taking over at the knitwear line. Malo's former designers, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, were tapped Tuesday by Gianfranco Ferré.

In addition to his namesake line, Dell'Acqua, who is known for his sensual and feminine designs, is creative director at La Perla and oversees designs at Borbonese.

Sources close to the companies involved said Dell'Acqua's knowledge of knitwear has caught the eye of Malo executives. Dell'Acqua started his career in 1995 with A A Milano, his first independent collection, after years of working as a consultant for brands such as Genny, Byblos, Gilmar, Maska and Enrica Massei. The A A Milano collection mostly consisted of knitwear treated in a variety of ways and combined with stretch and technical fabrics.

The Neapolitan designer held his first runway show in March 1996 with a number of racy boudoir looks in only two colors — black and tan.

Luxembourg-based holding group Redlux, which controls the Dell'Acqua brand and the Borbonese business, also owns Italian accessories company Redwall, footwear brand Francesca Mambrini and clothing manufacturer Cherrygrove, a holding firm originally put together by the Arpels Group. Redlux acquired the companies in 2006.

IT Holding tapped Aquilano and Rimondi in July 2006 to reposition Malo and increase its visibility. The duo added a lifestyle appeal and a trendy edge to the brand, known for its fine Italian cashmere. They also brought new woven pieces into the collection. Last year, Malo reported sales of $81 million and spring 2008 sales advanced 40 percent versus the same season the previous year.

Malo, which has shown in New York for the past four seasons, is carried in 400 sales points worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York in the U.S., and in the brand's 30 namesake stores.

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