MILAN — In another example of the unrest at Fin.part-controlled Cerruti, sources say designer David Cardona’s contract might not be renewed at the end of this month after showing just one season.

Fin.part declined to comment on the designer’s official status. But a Fin.Part spokesman said the company was reevaluating its production strategy and planned to license the Cerruti line for the first time in the company’s history.

“It’s a moment of transition,” the spokesman said. “Once we find the right [licensing] partners, we will decide with them how to manage the role of the designer.”

Cardona’s partner, John Bowman, said Cardona had returned to Los Angeles from Milan late Sunday and that the designer had planned to go back to Italy Feb. 23 to look at fabrics for resort.

Bowman said Cardona’s contract is for two years, but there is a buyout option at the end of the first year, which comes at the end of this month.

“If they’re [Cerruti] going to renew or not, they haven’t told us, and they won’t until the end of the month. David’s in limbo,” Bowman added. “He doesn’t really know what’s going on.”

For Cardona, his much-hyped arrival last summer at the embattled brand appears to be ending much the same way as his predecessors. Since Fin.part bought Cerruti in late 2000, it has churned through two other designers, Roberto Menichetti and Istvan Francer. Cardona’s Cerruti collection bowed to lukewarm reviews last October in Milan.

Usually a staple on either the Milan or Paris runways, Cerruti will not show a fall collection this season. The spokesman said the company hoped to return to the runway next season after a licensing arrangement was found, for “a serious fresh start.”

Bowman said Cardona and the design team were frustrated that there would be no runway presentation this fall, owing to the financial troubles the company has faced.

While the Cerruti spokesman declined to give specific names for the licensing deal, an industry source said Marzotto was in contention. Licensing Cerruti isthe latest attempt to help salvage the cash-strapped company. Fin.part has struggled to handle its debt, which as of Sept. 30 stood at 364.8 million euros, or $466.1 million at current exchange rates.— Courtney Colavita, with contributions from Rose Apodaca Jones, Los Angeles

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