MILAN — Agnona has appointed Gunn Johansson its new women's designer, effective with the spring 2006 season.
Johansson will present the collection during fashion week here in September.
In a statement issued last week, Agnona also said it has appointed Laura Poretti merchandising and retail director and Rossella Colombo communications and image director.
The announcements are in line with Agnona's goal to evolve into a more fashion-oriented company, a process being helped by former Gucci chairman Domenico De Sole. This spring, De Sole was tapped as a board member of Zegna Group, which controls Agnona. Gildo Zegna, co-chief executive officer of the group, said De Sole was "instrumental in putting a good structure together."
Johansson started her career at the American label Tse, where she was creative coordinator of the cashmere collections. In 1998, she launched her own collection, "hLam," with her husband, Pierangelo D'Agostin, and became creative director of knitwear company Malo. Last year, Johansson was part of the women's design team at Jil Sander.
"This new designer will keep the strategy of using our beautiful fabrics and work to create new fabrics. Now our house is in order and we can grow," said Tord von Dryssen, ceo of Agnona.
In a statement, Agnona said the designer's "sensitivity and professional background make her the perfect interpreter of the new Agnona woman: modern, inquisitive, spontaneous and with a strong personality."
Von Dryssen said the new ready-to-wear collections will aim at a customer between 35 and 60, with the bulk in their 40s, and focus on a more modern line and sophisticated customer.
"Most of the designers that we all admire ... all of them target a younger woman, but a lot of women around 40 years old want to wear beautiful clothes. This is a feminine way of dressing for every day, with great cuts and beautiful fabrics," said von Dryssen.
Johansson succeeds Tomaso Stefanelli, and the brand's creative director, Daniela Cattaneo, has left the company after three years. Poretti was previously buyer, style coordinator and purchasing manager at department stores La Rinascente.
The Biella-based Agnona was founded in 1955 by Francesco Ilorini Mo as a textile company. Until the Seventies, when the company introduced its own rtw, knitwear, accessories and home collections, Agnona provided fabrics for companies such as Christian Dior and Chanel. Today, together with Loro Piana, Agnona has the exclusive rights to work with the luxurious vicuna. It also works with Peruvian alpaca and cashmere.In 2004, Agnona reported consolidated revenues of $36 million, or 30 million euros at current exchange rates. Von Dryssen said the company has an "aggressive" growth target, but declined to provide specific figures.
The company lists 12 brand stores, including three in the U.S., where it is also available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Von Dryssen said the line was presented to both stores last week and had a "very positive reaction."
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast