MILAN — Marco Franchini has stepped down as chief executive officer of Valextra, the company said Monday.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Valextra tapped Franchini in March 2013 when London-based investment firm NEO Capital acquired a 60 percent stake in the luxury company through a capital increase.

“NEO Capital chose Marco Franchini with the goal of building the basis to turn Valextra, which was a luxury label focused on Italy, into a global brand,” said Valextra president Emanuele Carminati Molina, adding that Franchini signed a one-year contract with the accessories company. “Marco carried out his task in the best way possible, building up a solid structure in all the different areas. I can say that Valextra really changed a lot — it’s now a solid brand ready to face the global market.”


“I really enjoyed the time I spent at Valextra,” said Franchini, who was Gucci’s general manager for Europe for eight years ending in the late Nineties, before becoming chairman and ceo at Bally, a position he left in 2009. “I think that now the company possesses the business organization necessary to go to the next level. The warm and incredible involvement of my collaborators inspired me during this last year, when we made major steps toward the creation of solid roots for an ‘extraordinary’ brand.”

Franchini’s successor has not been named, but Carminati Molina said the company has already approached an “important figure with great experience.” He added that the new ceo “will have to focus especially on managing merchandising and communication activities,” including the launch of the new Valextra Web site, which will feature an online store.

Valextra plans to open two new stores this year — one on New York’s Madison Avenue and the other in Hong Kong. The company will present its resort collection, designed by design director Álvaro González, in New York during the first week of June.

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