Andrea Pinto, the Italian business executive and scion of one of Italian fashion’s most famous families, died Thursday. The cause of death was a brain tumor.
Pinto forged his career as a manager of luxury companies during one of the most fruitful periods for Italy’s fashion industry. It was a time when brands including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Franco Moschino and Gianfranco Ferré were flourishing thanks in large part to the U.S. market, which could not get its fill of Italian-made goods.
The younger Pinto was known for his skills turning around troubled businesses and was a cofounder of PAS, a fashion consulting firm in Milan.
He worked with his father, then Krizia’s chairman, for 13 years until 1995, when he left to become general director of Mila Schön. During his tenure, he helped Schön expand in the U.S., which would become the company’s second-largest market. Pinto left after the company’s owners, Itochu and Coronet, sold it to Mariella Burani Fashion Group SpA.
“He was one of the four vice presidents of the Camera Nazionale della Moda starting in 1999, he was one of my closest in my team,” said Mario Boselli, honorary chairman of the Italian Fashion Association. “It was a time when there was little money and a lot of enthusiasm. I admired him as an independent thinker.”
Recalling first working with Pinto during his Krizia days in the Eighties, Ron Frasch, operating partner at Castanea Partners, said, “Andrea was probably the first guy I knew who had a mobile phone. I remember him being in his car calling my home one night and thinking, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ So it was a long time ago [that we met] but he was a terrific guy.
“I worked with him for years when he was at Krizia with his dad, back in the heyday of Krizia. I really thought he was a wonderful man, a good colleague, a fair businessman and a fun guy.”
In 2000, Pinto became president of Nina Ricci, which also was in need of restructuring not long after it was purchased by the Barcelona-based Puig Group.
After leaving Nina Ricci in 2002, Pinto returned to Krizia as general manager, with Mandelli naming him as the right man to carry the business into the future, although he left unexpectedly two years after re-joining the company.
After leaving Krizia, he returned to a successful career in consulting, working as an adviser for private equity investors and for brands looking to build their businesses in Japan, a market he knew well after working for so many years at Krizia.
He also advised companies including Clerici Tessuto, Sutor Mantellassi, Mila Schön and the London-based swimwear and resort label Babajaan.
Pinto is survived by his father and by his wife and two children. A funeral service will be held in Milan on Monday morning at the San Marco church.