MILAN — Could Emilio Pucci be the next European brand to change its creative leadership?
Massimo Giorgetti, the Florentine house’s creative director, could be exiting the Italian fashion brand as soon as his contract is up — or even earlier, market sources told WWD.
One source familiar with the company said that Pucci and Giorgetti have mutually agreed to part ways and have not renewed their contract, which is believed to be a three-year agreement. Giorgetti joined the company in April 2015, succeeding Peter Dundas, and showed his first collection in September that year during Milan Fashion Week.
It is understood that Pucci has already interviewed a host of candidates, but has yet to settle on his successor.
Giorgetti told WWD that he was at work on Pucci’s resort collection, but declined to further discuss the topic.
Pucci parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton declined to comment on the speculation.
Sources attributed the change to lackluster sales, alleging that the brand “is not performing well at wholesale.” One suggested that Laudomia Pucci, daughter of the namesake founder, and LVMH are divided on whether to change the creative leader of the brand.
Giorgetti is also the founder and designer of the Milan-based, independent MSGM brand, launched in 2009 and which he continues to lead. Born in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region in 1977, Giorgetti veered away from Dundas’ take on Pucci, which was 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, who is known for his knack for prints and colors, steered Pucci in a younger, more playful direction, although his vision for the house at times failed to crystallize. Giorgetti has said it’s essential to strike the right balance with the past: “It would be too easy to use the archival prints, so we have to do it step by step.”
Asked if there was still a strong request for the Pucci prints, he responded in the affirmative. “People still love and want them. My first collection was criticized because there were not enough prints,” said the designer. Chief executive officer Mauro Grimaldi, who joined the company in 2015, said Giorgetti was restarting the brand by going back to Emilio Pucci. “Not many people realize this, but he is referencing the archives from the Fifties, pieces that have not been used in a very long time,” Grimaldi said.
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.
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.