MILAN — Belfe, a company known for its high-end sportswear with an urban edge, has named Thierry Andretta as chief executive officer to reposition the brand by upgrading quality and raising brand awareness.

“Since it was founded in 1920, Belfe was a forerunner of sportif chic and the first company to introduce nylon jackets in 1945,” Andretta said. “I want to go back to that heritage, use new materials and concentrate on the design.”

It’s a homecoming for Andretta, who worked for Belfe from 1980 to 1997. During that time, he became ceo of Skinea, a Belfe-controlled leatherwear manufacturer that is still the licensee for Armani’s leather apparel. When Andretta left Belfe, he served as chairman at Emanuel Ungaro and Celine and, most recently, was vice president at Gucci Group in charge of its Emerging Brands division.