By  on April 21, 2006

MILAN — IT Holding SpA has tapped Giacomo Santucci as president of its knitwear brand Malo.

Santucci, who has held posts at Gucci Group, Prada, Ferragamo and, most recently, Dolce & Gabbana, resurfaced earlier this year as a luxury goods consultant with Milan's Value Partners firm. Santucci will continue as a consultant at Value Partners in addition to his position at Malo.

An IT Holding spokesman said Thursday that Santucci will start his Malo job immediately. Santucci will replace IT Holding chairman and ceo Tonino Perna, who was Malo's president until now. Perna will remain head of IT Holding. Malo's ceo, Stefano Ferro, will now report to Santucci.

"His appointment confirms IT Holding Group's desire to focus on the development and value enhancement of the Malo brand, world leader in the production of high-quality cashmere," the company said in a release.

Santucci was traveling at press time and not available for comment.

IT Holding, which owns Gianfranco Ferre and produces the Just Cavalli, Versace Sport and C'N'C' Costume National lines through licensing deals, is trying to reposition Malo as a fashion brand and diversify it into accessories. In February, Malo staged its first fashion show, in New York.
But the brand's creative direction is still uncertain. Fabio Piras, who joined Malo to consult on the fall 2005 collection and designed the next two seasons, left the company in March. An IT Holding spokesman said the company hasn't decided on a successor. Sources familiar with the situation said Malo has contacted various candidates for the job, including Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, the design duo behind up-and-coming Italian label 6267.

Malo's 2005 sales slipped 3.6 percent, to 53 million euros, or $66.3 million at average exchange rates for the period.

IT Holding is also looking to relaunch its younger, experimental line, Exte. The company recently tapped Perna's 30-year-old daughter, Pamela Perna, as ceo of that brand.

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