NEW YORK — Linda Gaunt is leaving her post as executive vice president of communications for Giorgio Armani Corp. to start her own consulting firm specializing in strategic communications.

Gaunt, who started at Armani 12 years ago as a director of public relations, will continue to work with the designer in her new venture. Gaunt signed Armani as the first client of her new business, the company said on Tuesday.

She will officially leave the company at the end of February, when her consulting role will then include communicating with high-level editors and working on corporate projects, such as the Armani Group’s partnership program with the Guggenheim Museum, the expansion of its Armani Casa business in the U.S. and the wholesale launch of A|J Armani Jeans in U.S. department stores for fall retailing.

Gaunt’s exit will mark the second high-profile departure from Armani’s American operations since September, when Alexander Vreeland, then executive vice president who oversaw sales and licensing, also left to start his own consulting firm. Vreeland signed Armani as his first client, as well.

Armani said in a statement that no successor has been named for Gaunt and that her responsibilities will be handled by Robert Triefus, executive vice president of worldwide communications, and Gaetano Sallorenzo, president of sales and marketing.

Gaunt, who also worked in public relations for Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue prior to her position at Armani, said that she had not finalized her plans for the consulting company.

“Change has become a very important concept in my life in the past year, and after many exciting years at Giorgio Armani, I’ve decided to do the work I do a little differently,” Gaunt said. “I’m grateful to be able to continue the relationship with Armani, while having the opportunity to broaden my horizons.”

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