PARIS — Brioni has charged Fabrizio Malverdi, its new chief executive officer, with accelerating the international expansion of the elite Italian tailor following a period of turmoil, WWD has learned.Brioni parent Kering said Malverdi, most recently ceo of Agent Provocateur, would assume the management helm on April 18 and report to Jean-François Palus, Kering’s group managing director.This confirms a report in WWD on Feb. 28 that Malverdi was in line to succeed Gianluca Flore, who exited the role last month.Malverdi is perhaps best known for his stints as managing director of Dior Homme and as ceo of Givenchy, where he accrued expertise in the high-end men’s wear market.At Brioni, he will be tasked with repositioning the brand and bringing stability. The company has been in a state of flux after going through two creative directors in less than a year, confounding some customers and retailers. Issues linked to positioning, pricing and communication also weighed on the brand, as did a rationalization of its workforce at its headquarters in Penne, Italy.Flore, a former Bottega Veneta executive, joined Brioni in November 2014 and handpicked Brioni’s former creative director Justin O’Shea, a women's retail executive who had no design experience. O'Shea abruptly departed the company last October after only six months. During his brief tenure, he steered Brioni away from its heritage and made changes that observers believed were not in sync with the brand, such as tapping Metallica for the label’s fall 2016 ads.An Italian national, Malverdi has an international profile. He became managing director of Dior Homme in 2011, marching the brand further upscale; ramping up selections of formalwear, leather goods and shoes, and expanding the brand’s store network.He spent a decade at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recruited from the Mariella Burani Fashion Group to become managing director of John Galliano. Malverdi left John Galliano to become ceo of Givenchy, which logged strong sales and profitability under his leadership, before returning to Dior.An ebullient and driven executive, Malverdi started his fashion career in Italy working with brands including Vivienne Westwood, Martin Margiela and Calvin Klein Collection at Staff International.Last year, Malverdi joined Agent Provocateur and immediately started making plans to steady the business, closing underperforming stores, laying off staff and phasing down its diffusion line, L’Agent.Earlier this month, Agent Provocateur found a new owner in Four Holdings, the London-based fashion distribution and retail company.The ailing luxury lingerie brand was placed into administration, or bankruptcy protection, shortly before the sale, as reported.
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