NEW YORK — It looks like Dolce & Gabbana will have to start searching for a U.S. president again.
Christophe Albarran, president of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, has handed in his notice after just seven months in the job, according to sources, but will remain at Dolce & Gabbana until the end of October.
Albarran was the third executive in seven years to hold the post of U.S. president at Dolce & Gabbana. He succeeded Glenn McMahon, who left last year to become chief executive officer of St. John.
Albarran joined the company in January from Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., where he was vice president of global sales. Prior to that, he was worldwide director of customer service at Prada SpA.
At Dolce & Gabbana, Albarran’s mandate was to drive growth in the U.S., including the expansion of the Italian fashion group’s retail network in North America. In December, the company unveiled its refurbished and expanded New York flagship on Madison Avenue, which cost $15 million and marked an important step in the duo’s drive to boost business in the U.S., including more store openings. At the time of the store’s opening, the U.S. accounted for 13 percent of the company’s wholesale revenues.
Managing director Cristiana Ruella told WWD’s sister publication DNR last fall that the role of U.S. president has evolved, following the decision to bring the younger D&G line in-house as of the spring 2007 season. The position requires “operational, financial and logistical” clout, rather than “simply commercial expertise,” Ruella said at the time. Albarran could not be reached for comment on Thursday, and Dolce & Gabbana officials could not be reached for comment on Albarran’s successor.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia