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MILAN — Brioni has tapped Brendan Mullane as its new creative director, effective today.
This story first appeared in the July 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The British designer’s first collection will bow for fall 2013. While Brioni had in the past appointed creative directors for its women’s division, which is now shuttered, this is the first time the brand has named a designer to oversee the men’s line. Mullane, who was recently senior head men’s wear designer at Givenchy, will be based in Rome and report to Brioni chief executive officer Francesco Pesci.
At Givenchy, Mullane worked with artistic director Riccardo Tisci on the runway collections and was also responsible for pre-collections and lines specifically for the Asian market. Prior to Givenchy, he held various positions in men’s wear design at Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Mullane studied at Kingston University, where he obtained a B.A. in fashion, and at the Kingsway College of London, where he gained a BTEC Diploma in art and design.
“As Brioni becomes increasingly exposed internationally, the brand must reconnect with its initial spirit,” Pesci told WWD. “The label needs a person that can interpret its heritage and innovate it while ensuring consistency.”
The ceo said the Italian men’s wear brand, known for its high-end tailored suits, is increasingly developing categories such as outerwear and sportswear, footwear and accessories, and is also targeting a younger customer.
“Casualwear is already important for Brioni and these are the first categories to strengthen. There is more freedom of expression, but there must be a direction,” said Pesci. “We are growing globally in an increasingly competitive arena. We need to offer collections that have a strong identity and are strongly recognizable.”
Pesci said Mullane was the perfect candidate for the job because of his knowledge of fabrics and processes. “But beyond his professional experience, we were impressed by his passion for materials, his attitude and taste,” said Pesci, who selected the designer together with Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and ceo of French retail-to-luxury conglomerate PPR, which owns Brioni, and Alexis Babeau, managing director of PPR’s luxury division.
“It is no longer enough to create a beautiful product with excellent raw materials, but it is necessary for the final result to communicate the brand,” said Pesci.