Joseph J. Barrato is stepping down from Moncler. The president of North American operations for the Italian brand, who is responsible for all sales and marketing in the U.S. market, will retire at the end of June.
This story first appeared in the June 25, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He will be succeeded by Sandra Jovicic as president of Moncler U.S.
“Moncler’s success and significant growth in the United States are strongly linked to the contribution of Joe Barrato,” said Remo Ruffini, Moncler president and creative director. “Thanks to his experience, deep knowledge of the U.S. marketplace and remarkable business development competence, Moncler U.S. has reached outstanding results and established a powerful brand image.”
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Barrato, 71, has spent more than 50 years in the apparel industry, in such roles as president of Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Black Label men’s wear divisions, and chief executive officer and president of Brioni USA, a position he held for 20 years. At Brioni, Barrato is credited with helping to build the Rome-based luxury brand into one of the most prestigious labels in the world.
Barrato started his career in retail, working for Brooks Brothers — first as a stock boy and then as an assistant buyer. He also served as vice president and divisional merchandise manager of men’s at Bergdorf Goodman and worked for Garfinckel’s, based in Washington, D.C. In 1968, he joined a start-up company, Polo Inc., working closely with its founder, Ralph Lauren.
Before joining Moncler, Barrato had his own consulting firm, JJB Consulting. He was also the founding president of the Designers Collective, has won the Fashion Institute of Technology’s 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award and was awarded the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from Morehouse College. He has also been named to Esquire’s list of “10 Best-Dressed Men in Fashion.”
“It was time,” Barrato told WWD. “I’ve been working full-time for the past 54 years, and I still have a lot of passion for the industry, but after a while, you get a little tired.”
He said he plans to devote himself to a “huge book project” upon his retirement. “It’s an educational vehicle for the Chinese market, about the luxury market,” he said. “They love luxury, and they’re so affluent, but they spend a lot of money without knowing why. And for some reason, I’m the authority,” he said with a laugh. Once the book is completed, he hopes it will be distributed in hotels, and even shopping malls, in Asia.
Barrato also plans to travel and consult for private clients on a limited basis.
Most recently, Jovicic worked at Cacci & Co. Advisors, a consultancy firm specializing in the luxury industry. Earlier, she was executive vice president, specialty retail for Tommy Hilfiger North America and has also been with such companies as Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu, Cerruti, Celine and Armani Group.