Roberto Cavalli confirms Ennio Fontana is new GM
Roberto Cavalli has confirmed the appointment of Ennio Fontana as its new general manager. As FashionNetwork.com reported at the beginning of October, Fontana, who has worked for 20 years alongside German designer Philipp Plein, eventually becoming the eponymous Swiss label's general manager, is taking charge of Florentine label Cavalli, which is currently undergoing a relaunch.
Fontana’s appointment “is part of the reorganisation currently taking place at the Italian luxury label,” said Cavalli in a press release. Fontana succeeds Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who has been at the helm of Roberto Cavalli since 2016 and has pledged will stay on to ensure a smooth transition until the end of 2020, when his mandate will expire.
“I’m delighted to have become part of this long-standing fashion house, which has always been led with passion and creativity. I’m convinced that the label has first-rate fundamentals on which to build the next successful chapter in its evolution,” said Fontana, who stated he is "confident he will be able to contribute to the sustained growth and development of the Roberto Cavalli brand.”
Fontana knows Roberto Cavalli well. Last year, the Philipp Plein group considered making an offer to buy the Florentine label with a financial partner. Up to now, Fontana has chiefly worked with Philipp Plein as his right-hand man, a key figure in the eponymous label’s meteoric rise. Fontana also acquired a minority stake in Billionaire, the luxury menswear label bought by the Swiss group in 2016.
Roberto Cavalli was acquired in 2019 by Dubai billionaire Hussain Sajwani, founder and president of real estate giant Damac Properties. The label has been struggling in the past few years and is yet to find a creative director to replace Paul Surridge, who left in March 2019. Last year, Cavalli began an in-depth reorganisation.
Recently, Roberto Cavalli closed down its factory in Sesto Fiorentino, north of Florence, concentrating operations in Milan, leading eventually to the dismissal of nearly 100 of its 170 employees.
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