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Pucci to Tap Peter Dundas

Ex-Ungaro designer to join house.

MILAN — Peter Dundas will be the new artistic director at Emilio Pucci, showing his first collection in February, WWD has learned.

Dundas will replace Matthew Williamson, who will bid adieu to the Florence-based house after its show on Sept. 25. Williamson is leaving to focus on his own collection.

An announcement of Dundas’ appointment is expected as early as today and confirms a WWD report on Aug. 27.

The Norwegian designer cut his teeth working behind the scenes at Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix and Roberto Cavalli, where he was head designer for three years. His first major solo appointment came in 2005 when he was named artistic director at Ungaro.

His three-season tenure there was rocky, however, and surrounded by rumors that management and the designer butted heads on the creative direction of the venerable French brand.

Dundas is known for his glamour-infused designs and knack with prints. After Ungaro, the designer consulted for D&G before being appointed creative director of French furrier Revillon in January. He showed his first collection for the fur brand last February and paid tribute to his Norwegian roots by working with traditional Scandinavian embellishments and va-va-voom silhouettes. A spokesman for Revillon confirmed Dundas would continue his design role at the house. “He’s due to start working on our winter collection tomorrow,” he said.

Williamson, who succeeded Christian Lacroix at Pucci, earned mixed reviews with collections aimed at injecting the brand’s staple prints and jet-set clothes with verve and youth.

Emilio Pucci, which is a division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recently opened its first store in Mainland China as part of a major retail push around the world over the next four months. The Shanghai store is in the Citic Square Mall, one of the city’s premier shopping areas, and brings the total count of Pucci stores to 41.

Last year marked Pucci’s 60th anniversary and festivities were organized in Florence to celebrate its founder, Emilio Pucci, who charted a new course in fashion in 1947 when he launched printed jersey clothes.

Last summer, Pucci did a one-off denim collaboration with Seven For All Mankind with a production run of 2,000 colored jeans designed by Williamson and priced at $400. In the same period, Delphine Arnault joined the Emilio Pucci board to bring her fashion experience and knowledge of international markets to the brand.