MILAN — Fay, owned by the Tod’s Group, has tapped former Gianfranco Ferré creative directors Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi to design the brand, known for its luxury, urban outerwear.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The first collection by Aquilano and Rimondi will bow for women’s for the spring 2012 season during Milan Fashion Week. Andrea Della Valle, vice president of Tod’s SpA, said the designers will help expand and internationalize the brand.

“I’m very proud and excited about this collaboration, which will add luster and buzz to…Fay,” said Della Valle, brother of Tod’s chairman and chief executive officer Diego Della Valle, at the label’s showroom here. “We were drawn by their talent in interpreting a brand’s heritage, and by their skills with cuts, fits and feminine designs, which are never over the top. They are scrupulous with every detail, as designers used to be in the past, but they are modern and their looks are suitable for our customers, who expect daily usage, all day long, out of Fay.”

Visibly pleased, Aquilano said it was a “joyful moment,” and that he and Rimondi were “interested in collaborating with an international company that has roots in Italy.” The designer said the goal is to create a total look for Fay, “a comprehensive and complete lifestyle image, without upturning the essence of the brand.”

Rimondi added that he was pleased to work for “a solid, healthy group, which makes a product that women buy and wear. Otherwise, it’s a job that is an end in itself. Fashion must be admired but also worn.” The aim, he concluded, was to “refresh Fay” with their own touch, without changing its style.

Tod’s SpA, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, controls the Fay brand, together with the Tod’s, Hogan and Roger Vivier labels. Last year, Fay lagged behind the Tod’s and Hogan businesses. In 2010, Fay showed a 2.2 percent drop in sales to 89.7 million euros, or $118.4 million at average exchange, as the Italian luxury goods company hit the $1 billion sales mark, with revenues growing 10.4 percent to 787.5 million euros, or $1.03 billion. However, Della Valle said Fay has been picking up in 2011. In the first quarter ended March 31, Fay revenues gained 9.5 percent to 23.9 million euros, or $33.4 million, mainly driven by the Italian market. The women’s division accounts for 45 percent of sales.

Known for its four-hook closure firefighter jackets, Fay is an American brand the Della Valle brothers acquired in the early Eighties. Endorsed by celebrities ranging from Halle Berry to Jessica Alba, the line is currently available in 450 points of sale around the world and has two boutiques, in Milan and Rome. With the exception of Giles Deacon, who collaborated on Fay from the women’s fall 2008 collection until the spring 2011 season, the brand has always been designed by an in-house team.

Aquilano and Rimondi, winners of the 2005 Who’s on Next talent search curated by Vogue Italia, garnered media and commercial recognition with their 6267 line, which, launched in 2004 and renamed Aquilano.Rimondi in 2008, they will continue to design.

They joined the knitwear Malo brand in July 2006 as creative directors, and went on to fill the top spot at Ferré in spring 2008. It is understood the new owners of Ferré, Dubai-based Paris Group, last month ousted the designers, who declined to elaborate on the issue on Wednesday.

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