Emilio Pucci remains a brand in flux. A handful of big-name designers with a flair for color and print have cycled through the house with varying degrees of success over the past two decades, including Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Peter Dundas and Massimo Giorgetti of MSGM, who left in 2017.
Executives are search for a new design lead and chief executive officer, with former Golden Goose Deluxe Brand ceo Giorgio Presca recently tapped as an outside consultant to plot a turnaround for the collection designed by an in-house team.
The team tried admirably with the fall collection, presented in tableau vivant, and loosely inspired by a rain-soaked trip to Japan, which rendered the signature swirling prints in muted tones and glossy finishes. They nodded to the jet-set brand’s sport heritage in a limited way with bomber jackets and track pants, and its swinging Sixties spirit with the Lurex stripe chiffon tops, caftans and sequin-embroidered, patterned pleated skirts that were the collection stars. They also hinted at the potential for Pucci to transcend those prints and patterns and become something even cooler, perhaps, with solid color shearling coats, glossy patent miniskirts and blouson jackets that felt au courant but could have been better executed.
“It’s a great moment of change settling into something a bit more feminine and elegant, I feel very comfortable with that,” said Laudomia Pucci, daughter of the founding designer, in between posing for photos with fans. She remains image director and a member of the board.
But Sidney Toledano, chairman and ceo of Pucci parent LVMH Fashion Group, acknowledged the need for focus. “This is a studio work, they did a good job with new materials, using graphics and subtle colors…but we are a work in progress, so this is a transition, not a destination. The DNA of Pucci was resort, ski, sport, evening. But today, you have to give a very clear image. You don’t go to market telling one I’m evening, one I’m resort. You have to go with a strong collection and messaging,” he told WWD. “The assets are heritage, name, mood, the atelier in Bologna. How the baby is going to grow we have to assess.”