MILAN — Alessandro Dell’Acqua is designing the Les Copains brand, and his first collection will bow on Feb. 24 with a show during Milan Fashion Week.

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The line that will be presented on the runway is called 2012 Les Copains, which, for the second season, has essentially replaced the Trend Les Copains collection.

Les Copains, launched in the late Fifties, has a history in fine knitwear, and Dell’Acqua told WWD that it is this expertise that drew him to the brand. “Their tradition in knitwear is highly significant, and they can do anything with knits. I’m enthusiastic about this opportunity to experiment and research, and I see that they are very open to new ideas,” he explained. The designer has a renewable two-season contract.

Mario Bandiera, founder of Les Copains and chief executive officer of parent company BVM SpA, said the decision to hire Dell’Acqua was in line with the history of the company, which has, over the years, worked with designers such as Antonio Marras, Antonio Berardi and Albino d’Amato.

“We recognize in the style of Alessandro Dell’Acqua our same vision of elegance, made of innovation and artisanal craft,” stated Bandiera. “At a time in which the market needs reassurance, we believe that the significant and established experience of Alessandro Dell’Acqua can best translate the historical excellence of Les Copains in a contemporary language.”

Dell’Acqua started his career in 1995 with a knitwear line called A.A. Milano, which later morphed into a steamy signature line. He also designed for La Perla, Borbonese and Malo. In February 2010, he unveiled his new brand, No. 21, after the loss of the rights to his namesake line in June 2009. In May 2010, Brioni hired him to raise the profile of its women’s division but let him go last summer as it closed that business ahead of the sale to French luxury group PPR.