MILAN — Natalie Ratabesi has left her post as creative director of the Philosophy brand.
This story first appeared in the June 2, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The spring 2015 collection will be designed by an in-house team and will be presented in Milan in September. The label had been showing in New York for several years. Parent company Aeffe SpA said the split took place “by common consent.”
The news follows statements by Aeffe in May about Philosophy’s poor performance. During a conference call with analysts to discuss the group’s financial results in the first three months of the year, managing director and chief financial officer Marcello Tassinari touted the growth of the Alberta Ferretti and Moschino labels and the arrival of new creative director Jeremy Scott at the latter, while noting that Philosophy’s performance “was negative compared with the other brands.” Without elaborating, he said the company was “taking action” to fine-tune and improve the brand’s development. “We hired Natalie Ratabesi to raise the positioning of the brand and to have its own autonomy. There are changes taking place,” he noted cryptically at the time.
Alberta Ferretti tapped Ratabesi as creative director of the younger Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti line in October 2012, and the British designer’s first collection for the brand bowed for the fall 2013 season.
A Central Saint Martins alumna, Ratabesi was previously a senior creative director at Polo Ralph Lauren. She has also worked for brands including Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and Gucci.
This was the first time Ferretti had entirely delegated the direction of the Philosophy brand to another designer, meaning to further develop the label in an independent way and differentiating it more from the signature brand. This allowed her to focus on her namesake label.
The Philosophy line was launched in 1984.
Aeffe has been revamping its business strategy, reorganizing its licenses and shaping a new design direction at a number of its brands. This drove the group’s net profit up 60 percent in the first three months of the year. In the period ended March 31, the bottom line climbed to 3.2 million euros, or $4.4 million, compared with 2 million euros, or $2.6 million at average exchange, in the first quarter last year. Aeffe controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, and produces and distributes collections for labels including Emanuel Ungaro, designed by Fausto Puglisi, and Cédric Charlier.