PARIS — Swiss luxury sportswear brand Jet Set has tapped Marco Di Rado to be its new chief executive officer.
He succeeds Myriam Mele, who had been at the Zurich-based brand for six years.
Founded in 1969 and now controlled by the Swiss Gaydoul Group, Jet Set broke ground in the luxury sportswear segment and was favored by the likes of Gianni Agnelli and Grace Kelly, peaking in popularity in the Eighties.
Di Rado, a German-Italian consultant who cut his teeth at Ben Sherman, Hugo Boss and Acne Studios, joined the company in June. He will work in tandem with creative director Michael Michalsky, who was appointed in November.
“Michael is giving the brand its identity back,” Di Rado said during a phone interview.
“When he started last fall, he took his inspiration from what Jet Set was doing in the Eighties and Nineties, when we were a very directional brand,” he continued. “It’s important to me that he has the chance to establish his look and feel for the brand, and then I will do my part when it comes to strategy and distribution. We are aiming to be as desirable as we were in the Eighties.”
Based in Berlin, Michalsky served as global creative director of Adidas, where he relaunched Originals and helped establish Y-3 with Yohji Yamamoto until 2006, when he joined luxury brand MCM covering several roles in design. Jet Set tapped Michalsky to refresh its image as a gender-less brand, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week in January with its fall 2019 collection.
Going forward, Jet Set, known for its skiwear pieces, will focus on more contemporary and casual silhouettes. For spring 2020, the label relaunched its former sister label Blue System, which shuttered in the late Nineties, as part of the Jet Set range, with a focus on denim and jersey pieces.
“We felt it is the perfect timing to reintroduce Blue System to the market, as the entire industry is going toward a more contemporary and casual feel,” Di Rado said. “From now on, skiwear will become a capsule as part of our fall collection. We will define the lifestyle collection first, and out of that collection we will create a seasonal capsule for skiwear using all our technical fabrics.”
When it comes to distribution, Jet Set, which has its own stores in Saint Moritz, Zurich and Davos, will be mainly focusing on the European market before possibly branching out to the U.S., Asia and the Middle East.
A future push for the brand will be accessories.
“We’re looking into developing the category: We have our own retail stores in Switzerland and they have the need for accessories,” said Di Rado, who added the brand is in talks with the KaDeWe group in Germany and La Rinascente in Milan to launch pop-up projects.