MILAN — Claude Arpels, the executive who helped shape the Redwall Group and spearheaded the expansion of the company that controls Borbonese, has left his post. He will be succeeded as chairman by Manlio Cocchini, the group’s main shareholder, with 51 percent of the company. Francesca Mambrini, a long time designer at the firm, has a 45 percent stake. The rest is held by private investors.

In a phone interview, Cocchini Arpels returned to New York for family reasons.

Cocchini was previously general manager of Gilmar, which manufactures and distributes the Iceberg, Giambattista Valli and Frankie Morello collections, and president of Gilmar USA.

Arpels drew from his experience in the U.S. as director of retail development for Van Cleef & Arpels, when he set in motion Borbonese’s expansion. He opened a showroom in New York in 2004. Redwall Group has controlled Borbonese since 1992, but only started to build the brand when Arpels joined in 2000. Borbonese, which turned 50 last year, is designed by Alessandro Dell’Acqua, whose business is also controlled by Redwall Group.

Fabio Giombini will replace Cocchini at Gilmar. Giombini, who was general manager of Valentino, joined Gilmar as joint general manager of the commercial, retail, marketing, communication and licensing areas last year. “Giombini’s appointment is a natural one, which merely happens earlier than planned,” said Paolo Gerani, chief executive officer of Gilmar. “The past six months of collaboration has allowed us to ascertain a complete agreement on strategies.”

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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