PARIS — Danish contemporary brand Ganni is gearing up for the next step in its overseas expansion with the hiring of Andrea Baldo as chief executive officer, effective Oct. 22. He succeeds Nicolaj Reffstrup, who will stay on as founder with a focus on issues such as sustainability, tech innovation and branding.
Baldo joins Ganni from Italian leather goods brand Coccinelle, where he was ceo since 2016. A fellow of strategic management at the Barcelona-based IESE Business School, the Italian executive previously held senior management positions at Marni, Diesel and Maison Margiela.
Founded in Copenhagen in 2000, Ganni has been run since 2009 by Reffstrup and his wife Ditte, who will remain creative director of the brand, which is popular with influencers and celebrities including Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Alexa Chung.
In December they sold a 51 percent stake in the label to private equity firm L Catterton, which was formed from the merger of private equity fund Catterton and L Capital, whose founders include LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Groupe Arnault, the family holding company of LVMH chairman and ceo Bernard Arnault.
Baldo, who will be based out of Ganni’s London office, will evolve the brand in partnership with the couple. Nicolaj Reffstrup said although he had grown to love the fashion industry with all its “ups and downs and creativeness,” he had always felt more at home in the tech world.
“I’ll admit my knowledge on fashion is only skin-deep, so for this next chapter, we are extremely excited to bring Andrea on board. He has in-depth knowledge of the industry, but also rare hands-on experience from running both high-profile esoteric luxury brands like Margiela and Marni and more contemporary concepts,” he said.
“Together we’ll be an unbeatable team. Personally, I’m looking forward to having more time to work on our sustainability plans, further folding out the brand to the world and of course the tech strategy of the company,” added Reffstrup, who also holds minority stakes in jewelry brand Sophie Bille Brahe and bedding and textile company Tekla Fabrics.
Among the tasks facing Baldo is the U.S. expansion of the business, which generated revenues of around $45 million in 2017, according to market sources. Ganni is carried in more than 400 points of sale worldwide and 21 stand-alone stores in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
“Ganni is an outstanding and exciting brand with a unique positioning fueled by the creativity and the vision of Ditte and Nicolaj. I am delighted to join the company and look forward to contributing to the brand development and business internationalization, working alongside the talented Ganni team,” Baldo said.