MILAN — Dolce & Gabbana confirmed Tuesday that former Gucci Group executive Giacomo Santucci is joining the company, but not as chief executive officer, as some in the industry had expected.
Santucci starts work Monday as the company’s commercial, licenses and retail director, Dolce & Gabbana said in a statement. Santucci will report to Alfonso Dolce, board member and Domenico Dolce’s brother, and Cristiana Ruella, general affairs director, both top-tier executives at the company.
“We will follow the proper positioning and development of the different brands of the group and the merchandising categories they represent,” the company said in the statement, adding that Santucci will coordinate all commercial functions, including wholesale, retail and licensing.
In a phone interview, Ruella said Santucci’s task will be to “harmonize the market presence of the two brands, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G, across the board.”
Santucci did not return calls seeking comment.
Ruella also said Santucci will help select a replacement for outgoing Dolce & Gabbana USA president Gabriella Forte since he will coordinate business in that market as part of his responsibilities. Ruella said the company hopes to find a new president in America within a few months.
She downplayed the possibility that Santucci could take over Forte’s position, saying such a scenario is “not expected.” Ruella specified that Forte’s role, like Santucci’s, reports to Alfonso Dolce and herself.
As reported last week, industry veteran Forte chose not to renew her contract with Dolce & Gabbana, marking a significant power shift at the Italian fashion house. She is staying at the company “as long as necessary” to guarantee an effective handover.
It looks like Santucci will have plenty of work on the licensing front. Last year, Dolce & Gabbana ended its eyewear license with Marcolin and inked a deal with the much larger Luxottica. The company also has started to evaluate whether to renew its licensing pact with IT Holding, which produces the diffusion line D&G. The license expires at the end of 2006. Ruella said it would be “premature” to say what the company plans to do at this stage.Ruella said several companies, including Procter & Gamble, are courting Dolce & Gabbana in a bid to expand the house’s beauty business. She said the company will likely decide by the end of the year whether to stay with current partner EuroItalia or switch to another licensee.
Last year, Gucci Group famously “terminated” Giacomo Santucci as Gucci brand ceo in a whirlwind of management changes under new group ceo Robert Polet and majority shareholder PPR. Santucci joined Gucci in January 2001 and the industry considered him one of several potential candidates whom PPR could promote to the group ceo slot to replace the outgoing Domenico De Sole. Instead, Santucci stayed on as Gucci brand ceo until relations with Polet and PPR soured late last year.
Prior to joining Gucci, Santucci spent eight years at Prada, helping to develop the company’s cosmetics and eyewear businesses, reorganizing operations in Asia and working closely with acquired brands like Helmut Lang.
“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