Malverdi succeeds Garry Hogarth, who exited the luxury lingerie firm in February, and is expected to steer further expansion into Asia, and widen assortments of ready-to-wear and accessories.
Adrian Ward succeeds Malverdi as senior vice president of Dior Homme. Ward joins the French house from Polo Ralph Lauren in Asia-Pacific.
An Italian national, Malverdi assumed the helm of Dior Homme in 2011, marching the brand further upscale; ramping up selections of formalwear, leather goods and shoes, and expanding the brand’s store network.
He spent a decade at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recruited from the Mariella Burani Fashion Group to become managing director of John Galliano, where Dior ceo Sidney Toledano is president. Malverdi left John Galliano to become ceo of Givenchy, which logged strong sales and profitability under his leadership, before returning to Dior.
An ebullient and driven executive, Malverdi started his fashion career in Italy working with brands including Vivienne Westwood, Martin Margiela and Calvin Klein Collection at Staff International. Agent Provocateur was actually cofounded by Westwood’s son, Joe Corré, although he is no longer involved in the business.
Chris Woodhouse, chairman of Agent Provocateur, lauded Malverdi’s international profile, entrepreneurial spirit and track record in “building value. We need his expertise to take it to the next level in terms of expansion of the physical footprint, the virtual footprint and products.”
Founded in London’s Soho neighborhood in 1994, Agent Provocateur now operates 111 freestanding stores and shops-in-shops in 29 countries.
In an interview, Malverdi said the brand has “strong potential in terms of retail development, and the advantage of having as the owner a fund with the resources to invest.”
Malverdi, who is to work closely with creative director Sarah Shotton, said he could envision a foray into eyewear, and more non-lingerie apparel categories, a thrust initiated with fall collections.
He also plans to heighten the luxury ambiance of boutiques, develop new territories and optimize the interplay between physical stores and its e-commerce platform.
The U.S. represents Agent Provocateur’s largest market, with the U.K. in second place, Woodhouse noted.
He spies particular expansion potential in Southeast Asia and China, noting “we don’t have a store in Japan, for instance, so there’s opportunity there.”
The company, controlled by private equity fund 3i, posted revenues of 62 million pounds, or $94.8 million at average exchange, and earnings before interest and taxes of 10 million pounds, or $15.3 million, for the year ended March 28, 2015, Woodhouse told WWD.