MILAN — Oliviero Toscani has resigned as editorial director of Benetton’s magazine, Colors, in a bitter dispute with Benetton’s managing director, Aldo Palmeri.
According to a Benetton spokeswoman, Toscani continues in his broader role as creative director of the company.
As reported, the differences between Toscani and Palmeri erupted last week when Toscani fired off an angry fax to Palmeri accusing him of interfering in a sector he knows “nothing about.” Excerpts from the letter appeared in a slew of Italian newspapers over the weekend.
Although Toscani could not be reached for comment, Colors editor-in-chief Tibor Kalman said, “He has offered his resignation, though it has neither been accepted nor declined.”
The Benetton spokeswoman downplayed the issue of Toscani’s resignation, saying it was limited to his work on Colors and didn’t affect post as his creative director.
“Yes, Toscani has suspended part of his work for us that involves Colors, but it isn’t really an issue of him resigning,” she said. The spokeswoman added that the company hasn’t yet taken a position on the issue.
Kalman noted that the feud between Palmeri and Toscani intensified after Palmeri gave an interview to the Rome daily Il Messaggero. In the article, published Sunday, Palmeri suggested that Benetton can do just fine without Toscani.
“We are dealing with a person who has a subhuman cultural level,” Palmeri was quoted as saying. When asked what Benetton would do without Toscani, Palmeri said: “I have an idea. My 26-year-old daughter, Ilaria, is an illustrator, an excellent photographer, and a soon-to-be anthropologist, not to mention that she has culture and reads books, unlike some people we know. I think I’ll propose her to Luciano Benetton [chairman of Benetton].”
“This has become a personal problem between the two that has to be resolved and can’t be resolved in the press,” said the Benetton spokeswoman. “I don’t know when they are going to work things out, but it would be a shame if this results in [Toscani’s] leaving.”