MILAN — Luxury footwear and accessories brand Sergio Rossi and creative director Francesco Russo have parted ways after four years.
“It was a joint decision after a very positive collaboration,” said the company’s president and chief executive officer Christophe Mélard in an exclusive interview. The last collection by Russo, who joined the brand in October 2008, was unveiled for fall 2013 during Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 21.
Mélard praised the designer’s ability to fine-tune and develop the Italian heritage, values and image of Sergio Rossi, which has more than 50 years of history. Russo helped define iconic products such as the Cachet sandal, the Mermaid jeweled ankle boot and the suede Chelsea boot.
While not directly succeeding Russo, Angelo Ruggeri will join the company as collection director on March 15, reporting to new chief marketing officer Susanna Nicoletti. Ruggeri has worked with Russo, his predecessor Edmundo Castillo, as well as Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford.
Mélard, who joined PPR-owned Sergio Rossi three-and-a-half years ago, underscored there will be no changes in positioning and that Sergio Rossi will be even more clearly defined as “a dangerously seductive and sensual” label. The company, which has 54 directly operated stores and 30 franchised units, is further consolidating its retail presence in key markets.
Since 2010, the brand’s store concept, modeled after an Italian apartment, has been implemented in at least 70 percent of the units, said Mélard. Upcoming openings include Las Vegas in April and franchised stores in Moscow’s Gum; in Baku, Azerbaijan; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Jakarta, Indonesia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Special collaborations are planned for department stores in the U.S., where the brand is available at locations such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
Mélard said the company is also working on a bridal project and evening-specific shoes. In addition, to further boost online sales and create “a unique shopping experience,” Sergio Rossi is developing special collections for the Web in a partnership with Italian e-tailer Yoox. Sergio Rossi also plans to launch a capsule collection during furniture and design show Salone del Mobile in Milan with a yet-to-be-revealed “special partnership.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)