MILAN — Brioni said Tuesday it plans to close its women’s business and that it is severing ties with the line’s creative director, Alessandro Dell’Acqua. It is also canceling the brand’s women’s fashion show during Milan Fashion Week next month.

This story first appeared in the August 24, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

This confirms a story in WWD Tuesday.

Brioni’s chief executive officer, Francesco Pesci, said the decision was prompted by a need “to refocus the company’s resources on its men’s wear business, which has recently become more competitive and global.”

Pesci said the company “expressed its regret” in ending the collaboration with Dell’Acqua, thanking him for the work he has done on the brand.

The executive said he has contacted the unions in order to initiate industrial and employment decisions. An industry source told WWD on Monday that Brioni’s manufacturing plant in Congiunti, Italy, which was exclusively dedicated to the production of the brand’s women’s collections, will be shut down in September.

However, Pesci on Tuesday denied “the existence of previous plans to strengthen distribution and any other connection with other rumors on the company published [by the press] in July.”

According to sources, Brioni’s latest course of action is part of the ongoing talks between PPR and Brioni about the French luxury group acquiring the Italian brand.

Brioni tapped Dell’Acqua as creative director of the women’s line in May 2010 to raise the division’s profile and the collections have been generally well-received. The tie-up with Dell’Acqua was supposed to be a long-term investment for the company.

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