Mila Schön names Marc Audibet creative director in major investment plan
Famed Milanese fashion house Mila Schön has named Marc Audibet to be its new creative director in major investment plan to relaunch the brand.
French-born Audibet will unveil his debut collection for Mila Schön in February during the next Milan women’s ready-to-wear catwalk season.
The highly experienced 67-year-old Audibet began his career at Nino Cerruti back in 1975, before holding a series of positions as either creative director or freelance stylist for such houses as Biagiotti, Balmain, Trussardi, Hermès, Maison Vionnet, Trussardi and Madame Grès.
His appointment is a key part of a “new strategic plan” for Mila Schön, where a group of Italian investors led by Barbara Gabarrini Confalonieri and Guido Formilli Fendi, are joining forces with Itochu, the Japanese trading company. Itochu first acquired control of Mila Schön back in 1995 before subsequently selling its stake.
A new company Cofedo will now oversee Mila Schön, focusing on international expansion in Europe, the United States and Asia, with the goal of doubling sales within three years.
“Milan is where Mila Schön originally founded the brand 65 years ago, and it will again be the strategic and creative headquarters of the Mila Schön Maison,” the house said in a release.
The operation is led by the triumvirate of CEO Formilli Fendi, a member of the Fendi founding family, where he worked until 2003 as general manager and commercial director, president Gabarrini Confalonieri – an entrepreneur - and Audibet.
Mila Schön, who died in 2008 aged 88, was famous for having dressed the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy and Brooke. At Truman Capote’s black and white ball, the most famous ball in post-war New York, Marella Agnelli was voted the best dressed guest in a kaftan hand embroidered by Schön’s craftswomen.
“We believe that the partnership will start a new phase of growth and consolidation of the maison, and strategically position it among the top international fashion & lifestyle brands. We have invested in this project because it is an extraordinary opportunity for a brand that epitomizes the very best of Made in Italy to become a global leader in this space,” said Formilli Fendi.
Added Gabarrini Confalonieri: “Marc Audibet brings his intuition and talent, many years of experience and understanding of fabrics and silhouettes. As part of the new course of the Maison, he will be an integral part of the effort to achieve our goals and position Mila Schön to become a leader in the affordable luxury segment. Marc will be able to best interpret the immense aesthetic heritage of Mila Schön with new variations and interpretations in the brand's clothing collections, as well as provide strong direction in footwear and accessories.”
Founded in 1958 in Milan by Mila Schön, the "lady of Italian elegance", the house won initial acclaim for its Italian take on French couture styles. Schön opened her first boutique on via Montenapoleone in 1965; designed uniforms for Air Italia; became the first Italian designer to show ready-to-wear in Japan; dressed the Italian team for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics; and was awarded the famed Neiman Marcus Award.
Though in recent years the brand has drifted, its strong DNA, new financial backing and leadership in the hands of the respected Audibet means that this will be a closely watched relaunch.
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