Valentino Fashion Group on Wednesday appointed Alessandra Facchinetti as creative director of the Valentino women’s collections. WWD first reported on May 25 that VFG was courting Facchinetti, the former head of women’s wear at Gucci.

In her new role, Facchinetti, 35, will be responsible for Valentino’s couture and ready-to-wear collections, along with the RED and Roma secondary lines. She takes the reins from Valentino, 75, who on Tuesday revealed plans to retire in January 2008 after one more ready to wear season and one more couture show. His longtime business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, also will step down.

VFG emphasized in a statement Wednesday how it worked together with Valentino and Giammetti to reorganize the creative team at the brand. In a further sign of the changing times at the house, longtime accessories designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Paolo Piccioli have been appointed creative directors for the fast-growing category. There are also plans to strengthen the men’s wear division in the near future.

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