Dirk Bikkembergs puts Lee Wood in charge of design
Dirk Bikkembergs has taken a new step on the way to its relaunch, by appointing Lee Wood as Creative Director. The sport couture brand has announced in a press release that Wood, starting with the Autumn/Winter 2017-18 season, will act as Creative Director for Bikkembergs' first and second ready-to-wear lines, for men and women, and also for the children, underwear, handbags and accessories licences.
Lee Wood is a graduate of England's Berkshire College of Art & Design, and moved to Milan in 1998, joining the Versace studio. He worked there for 16 years, notably on the Versus line and as designer in charge of women's footwear.
In 2013 he left the fashion label to set up a consulting office. Two years later he launched his own ready-to-wear label, L72, with which in 2015 he won the Who is On Next? competition's young designers prize in the womenswear category.
For Dirk Bikkembergs, this is the start of a new chapter. The brand's collections have been designed by an internal design team since 2014, after the departure of the then Creative Director, South African Hamish Morrow, some time after Dirk Bikkembergs himself had left.
The Belgian designer founded the brand in 1987 and left the label a year after selling it, in 2012, to Italian group Zeis Excelsa, which produced and distributed Bikkembergs' footwear line.
In the meantime, the label has passed into Chinese hands. Since July 2015 it has been owned, via the Levitas company, by Chinese group Canudilo, with a 51% share of the stock. The remaining 49% is equally split between Zeis Excelsa (footwear) et Sinv (apparel).
Wishing to accelerate Dirk Dikkembergs' expansion, the majority shareholder hired Dario Predonzan as COO two months ago. The brand's current revenue is €80 million.
"Lee is joining at a time of great change. We will work together to fashion an important new chapter for this great label," commented Predonzan in the press release.
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