PARIS Oct 4 Brioni's creative director Justin
O'Shea, who undertook an unexpected gothic revamp at the Italian
tailor, has left after just seven months, its parent Kering
said on Tuesday.
O'Shea quit over the implementation of Brioni's strategy, a
source close to the company said, having transformed it from a
classic Italian suit maker into a rock chic brand with a new
logo which offers velvet outfits costing 3,000 euros backed by
adverts featuring heavy metal band Metallica.
The move follows the summer resignation of Grita Loebsack,
head of Kering's emerging luxury brands such as Brioni and
Balenciaga, over strategic differences. Loebsack, who joined
from Unilever, stayed less than a year at the group.
Before joining Brioni in March, O'Shea had no formal design
experience and was previously global buying director for online
fashion retailer MyTheresa.
While O'Shea's fall/winter collection would be presented to
buyers in the Milan showroom from mid-November, it would not be
staged on the runway, Kering said.
The group does not publish individual figures for its
smaller fashion brands, but Brioni has suffered from a drop in
tourist traffic in Europe and Russian demand due to the rouble's
devaluation. It has also had to cut jobs in the past year.
"The strategy of revitalisation of Brioni that started at
the beginning of this year is set to continue being implemented
through a long-term plan aimed to further establish the brand as
a leader in the luxury menswear category," Brioni said in a
statement after thanking O'Shea for his work.
Brioni employs 1,200 people, versus 1,800 when it was bought
by Kering in 2001.
(Editing by Alexander Smith)