MILAN — There’s a changing of the guard at Marni. The Italian brand’s chief executive officer Stefano Biondo is exiting the company and its parent group OTB. He will be succeeded by Barbara Calò, who will be holding the title of general manager.
Calò joined Marni at the beginning of 2016 as global omnichannel director, and in her new position she will report to OTB ceo Ubaldo Minelli.
Biondo arrived at Marni in May 2018 and was part of the new organization of the brand’s management structure globally, reporting to Minelli.
Biondo was previously chief brand officer at Italian eyewear company Safilo.
Marni’s revenues top 170 million euros, 60 percent of which are generated through the 76 directly operated stores and its online shop. Handbags and footwear are growing categories and represent more than 55 percent of total revenues.
Upon Biondo’s arrival, the company said it would focus on Asia, especially China, a further development of its men’s collections, and licensing partnerships.
In September 2018, Marni teamed with Belgian artist Sammy Slabbinck to celebrate the opening of its store in New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood.
Relocating from a different space on the same street, the 2,228-square-foot, two-story Madison Avenue boutique carries a wide offering of the Milanese brand’s women’s ready-to-wear, accessories and jewelry collections.
In keeping with the brand’s recent openings, including a boutique in Florence, Marni commissioned a community of Colombian women to create an animal sculpture crafted from papier-mâché and beads, which is on display inside the store. Marni creative director Francesco Risso selected the fawn as the lucky animal for the new New York boutique, the third outpost of the brand in the city, along with stores in SoHo and the Meatpacking District.
OTB took full control of Marni in 2015. Following Marni founder Consuelo Castiglioni’s exit in 2016, her successor Risso has been putting his own stamp on the label.
OTB controls Diesel, Maison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Staff International and Brave Kid. As reported earlier this month, Staff International has signed an agreement to produce and distribute collections for Koché, bowing for fall 2020. Founded by Christelle Kocher in 2014, the upscale ready-to-wear label with streetwear and contemporary art references was the 2019 ANDAM Grand Prize winner. OTB has recently increased its stake in Viktor & Rolf and invested in Amiri, the Los Angeles-based brand established in 2014. Last month, Brazilian designer Paula Cademartori bought back control of her eponymous brand, after OTB originally originally invested in the luxury accessories label in 2016.