By Miles Socha
with contributions from Alessandra Turra
 on March 20, 2015

PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has netted one of Italy’s contemporary fashion stars and print wizards — MSGM designer Massimo Giorgetti — and named him creative director of Emilio Pucci.

This story first appeared in the March 20, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Confirming the appointment exclusively to WWD, LVMH Fashion Group chairman and chief executive officer Pierre-Yves Roussel said Giorgetti is to join the Florentine house in April and show his first collection in September during Milan Fashion Week.

“He has that fresh approach to fashion: He loves color, he’s passionate about Pucci,” Roussel said, hinting that Giorgetti would steer the brand in a younger direction, dialing down its recent red-carpet orientation. “I think the brand is fundamentally a daywear brand, with a sporty attitude — fresh and feminine.”

WWD first reported that LVMH had its eye on Giorgetti in September, when senior managers from the French luxury giant were spotted at MSGM’s spring show.

The boyish, ebullient designer is to continue designing his independent, Milan-based MSGM brand, which posted revenues of $45 million last year, and shuttle between the two Italian cities.

Beyond his creative prowess, Roussel lauded Giorgetti’s entrepreneurial and hands-on approach to the fashion business: “Because he has his own brand, he knows what it takes.”

As if preparing for his new Pucci assignment, Giorgetti stripped his fall MSGM collection of the digital prints that initially caught the fashion world’s attention, instead employing bold colorblocking in acid shades, 3-D embroideries and textured fabrics ranging from tinsel to shaggy Mongolian lamb.

The 38-year-old Giorgetti succeeds Peter Dundas, who spent seven years at the design helm and is to join Roberto Cavalli as creative director.

While Giorgetti is part of a new generation of designers positioning their brands in the contemporary zone, Pucci is to retain its positioning in the luxury space, albeit with a younger, more modern attitude, Roussel said.

“He’s very creative, he moves fast and he has a lot of ideas,” the executive said, noting the hire was made in tandem with LVMH’s Delphine Arnault, a key fashion scout at the luxury group her family controls, and Laudomia Pucci, interim ceo and daughter of the founding designer.

“Through the appointment of Massimo Giorgetti, we wish to express a vision of today’s ever-evolving world while honoring our Italian roots and luxury lifestyle,” said Laudomia Pucci.

Established in 1947, Emilio Pucci is one of Italy’s storied jet-set brands of the Sixties, synonymous with dazzling prints on silk jersey, which the founder even applied to skiwear early in his career, pioneering a lifestyle approach to fashion.

Roussel argued that the “sky is the limit” for the brand given its “joyful” spirit, legacy of innovation and “protected” nature, with no second line, only one license — eyewear with Marcolin — and controlled distribution.

“The codes are so strong, you can do anything with Pucci,” he asserted, mentioning a 2012 collaboration on makeup with Guerlain, also controlled by LVMH. “The brand has kept its integrity.”

LVMH acquired the brand in 2002 for 38 million euros, or $35.9 million at average exchange rates that year, and has experimented with a variety of designers, including Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix, both predecessors to Dundas, whom Roussel thanked for “a successful chapter of the brand.”

Before Lacroix joined Pucci in 2002, the creative director was American designer Julio Espada. The Pucci family has also collaborated with Antonio Berardi and Stephan Janson in the past.

Today, Pucci counts about 50 boutiques in the world, plus select department store doors. Roussel declined to discuss business targets, saying the immediate focus would be to modernize and expand the product offer.

Giorgetti was not immediately available for comment, but furnished WWD with a photo by Danilo Scarpati he described as a “declaration of intention.” It depicts a young man and a young woman on the roof of the Palazzo Pucci, colorful scarves knotted over white T-shirts that Giorgetti likened to “blank paper, a new story to tell.”

“It really shows that the roots of the brand are in Florence,” Roussel said of the photo. “It’s about a real woman and not a model with three other girls.”

The presence of a man in the photo does not telegraph an imminent intention to launch men’s wear, Roussel noted, although the brand has marketed shirts and accessories for men in the past and could reenter the category in the future.

Pucci’s decision to tap Giorgetti is somewhat unusual since this is the Italian designer’s first experience at the helm of a luxury label.

Born in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region in 1977, Giorgetti launched his contemporary MSGM brand in 2008 in collaboration with Italian manufacturing company Paoloni. He introduced a playful, upbeat take on women’s and men’s wear hinged on simple, easy-to-wear silhouettes enlivened by captivating prints and sold at competitive prices via some 700 wholesale doors worldwide.

Under Dundas, Pucci focused on sexy, hyper-glamorous eveningwear, earning a model and “It” girl following including Poppy Delevingne, Gaia Repossi, Bianca Brandolini D’Adda and Natasha Poly.

Giorgetti’s point of view is strongly influenced by indie bands like The Strokes and MGMT and contemporary art, one of the designer’s biggest passions — notwithstanding Pane, his cute Jack Russell terrier forever underfoot in his office.

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