Michael Kors and Kate Hudson

Francesca Leoni has been named to the newly created role of senior vice president, chief brand officer of the Michael Kors brand at Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., the global fashion luxury group.

She reports to John D. Idol, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Leoni will be joining Kors on Feb. 5.

Since 2010, Leoni has been the worldwide communications director at Valentino in Rome. In this role, she was responsible for the development and implementation of all global communications initiatives and events, including public relations and marketing. From 2005 to 2010, she was the worldwide p.r. and events director for Bulgari, and from 2000 to 2005, she was senior director, public relations and cultural events for Hermès. She has also held public relations roles at Malo.

“Francesca is an outstanding addition to our team,” said Michael Kors. “She has tremendous experience in the communications and marketing arena with luxury brands, and is the ideal choice to communicate the company’s vision, drive collaboration and inspire our global consumers.”

Idol added that he was excited to have someone with Leoni’s global expertise and business acumen with luxury brands join Kors. “She has an outstanding track record developing strategic communications and marketing in the fashion industry which makes her an important addition to the Michael Kors management team,” said Idol.

“Michael has created one of the most important luxury fashion houses in the world,” said Leoni. “I look forward to partnering with Michael and the executive team to share his creative vision and voice to the Michael Kors consumers globally.”

Last January, Lisa Pomerantz, senior vice president of global communications and marketing at Kors, returned to Bottega Veneta after six years in the role.

Earlier this month, Kors completed its $1.35 billion acquisition of Jimmy Choo, and Idol said recently at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference that he was eager to make another acquisition. “We want to do something that’s significant, not something that’s small, that’s what our current thinking is,” he said. Idol has previously signaled his desire to build Kors into a portfolio of brands, now that Choo has joined the fold.

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