Sep 5, 2007
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Ex-Gucci designers to take over Valentino womens wear

Sep 5, 2007

MILAN, Sept 5, 2007 (AFP) - Alessandra Facchinetti has been appointed to design all the women's wear lines for Valentino after the Italian couturier who founded the label announced his retirement, the fashion house said Wednesday, september 5th.

Alessandra Facchinetti - Photo : AFP

Facchinetti was briefly artistic director of Gucci, who had the unenviable task of opening a new era for the house without the Texan Tom Ford, who had turned the label into a global winner.

"Alessandra Facchinetti is the designer who can interpret and continue the legacy of Valentino's core values at their best. We know we can also capitalize on her significant experience in designing for some of the most important and successful fashion companies where she acquired a great expertise," the chief executive officer of Valentino Fashion Group said.

Facchinetti, 35, said she was "honoured to be part of this new project. Mr Valentino has always been a point of reference for me, an icon for his style and elegance."

"My admiration and respect for him are endless. I will dedicate myself to this new project with great passion, enthusiasm... and be ready to present my first collection in March 2008," she said.

Facchinetti only lasted two seasons at Gucci after Ford's departure. She has since worked for the winter sports brand Moncler before joining Valentino's team a few months ago.

Valentino Garavani, 73, announced his retirement on Tuesday two months after lavishly celebrating his 45th anniversary as a couturier in Rome.

Named after the Hollywood silent screen idol, he has dressed some of the most beautiful women in the world in his near five decades in fashion, including screen idol Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy. Among the new generation of celebrities who are "Val's girls" are Sarah Jessica Parker, Kiera Knightley, Julia Roberts and Scarlett Johansson.

He will present his last ready-to-wear collection in Paris next month and his final haute couture collection in January.

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