Model on the catwalk

MILAN — Valentino is strengthening its organization and Alessio Vannetti will join the couture house on March 1 as chief brand officer, WWD has learned. This is a new role within the company.

“An important mission and ambition for 2020 is the ongoing evolution of the organization, through the introduction of key talents, in order to increase brand value and to be more competitive in the actual scenario,” Valentino chief executive officer Stefano Sassi said in a statement, confirming the appointment. “Alessio Vannetti, alongside with the current teams, will carry out the essential role of developing the brand communication strategy and implementing all activities dedicated to the Valentino community.”

Vannetti was previously Gucci’s worldwide communications director from January 2015 until September last year. He will report to Sassi and will globally lead different areas including the entertainment industry, press office, events, graphic department and production, archive, media plan, social media and digital marketing.

Vannetti joined Gucci on Jan. 7, 2015, from the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, his arrival coinciding with the textbook turnaround of the brand set in motion by president and ceo Marco Bizzarri and creative director Alessandro Michele.

Before Zegna, where Vannetti worked with Stefano Pilati on the brand’s couture collection and the group’s women’s line Agnona, he was senior press office manager at Prada.

Meanwhile, Francesca Nardi, who joined Valentino in 2008, was promoted to global communication, events and celebrities director. Before Valentino, she was worldwide events manager at Burberry, based in London.

According to market sources, Sassi has been spearheading the re-engineering of the Valentino structure for some months now, in sync with the company’s owner, Qatar-based Mayhoola, in order to strengthen the brand’s competitive advantage.

Vannetti’s appointment follows market rumors circulating in Milan that Jacopo Venturini, Gucci’s former executive vice president, merchandising and markets, is headed to Valentino, as first reported by WWD. Venturini is said to be joining the Rome-based couture company in a top senior role after the approval of Valentino’s 2019 financial results, which usually takes place around March.

This would be a return to Valentino for Venturini, who is a highly regarded industry veteran. He joined Gucci in 2015 from Valentino and, before that, worked at Prada.

Sources believe he will become Valentino ceo, succeeding Sassi, who is said to be moving up the ladder to oversee the various Mayhoola brands at group level. Mayhoola also controls Balmain and Pal Zileri and sources say Sassi has often been consulted on matters regarding the other brands under the fund’s umbrella.

Sassi was appointed Valentino’s ceo in 2006 and has been instrumental in leading and growing the company through the acquisition in 2012 by Mayhoola.

Other changes include Sebastian Suhl’s exit, as reported. He is expected to leave the company at the end of January. Suhl joined in January 2018 as managing director of global markets, reporting to Sassi.

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