Sep 11, 2008
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Gigli CEO says no decision yet on next designer

Sep 11, 2008

By Jo Winterbottom and Ilaria Polleschi

MILAN, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Italian fashion brand Romeo Gigli has not decided on a successor to Gentucca Bini, who quit as designer on Wednesday little more than a week before womenswear shows, Chief Executive Pierluigi Mancinelli told Reuters.

"I would be lying if I said we'd already thought of someone," Mancinelli said in a telephone interview.

Bini announced her decision to quit in a brief email on Wednesday and had told Reuters she did not know if her designs would be used in the collection to be shown in Milan during womenswear shows running from Sept. 20-27.

Mancinelli said the Romeo Gigli collection for the Milan shows would be mostly Bini's designs.

"We are doing a presentation," he said, instead of a catwalk show, "so some models won't go out," he added.

Bini said her collection was inspired by origami and played with volumes and patterns. She regularly brought a lighthearted, idiosyncratic touch to designs.

"Her collections were fundamental for us," Mancinelli said. "A brand like this can't leave the creativity. That type of creativity is key," he said.

But he added the house was now looking for products which would make a more accessible second-line for the designer.

"We're looking for a 360 degrees marque," he said. "We have to think about sales."

In a statement, Romeo Gigli said the rollout of Romeo Gigli stores would intensify, with particular emphasis on Asia.

The fashion house added it was considering moving the collections to Paris.

"In this context ... the content of the collections has to have a more international stamp as well," the statement said.

Mancinelli told Reuters there had been no argument with Bini over the departure, which he said had been agreed in June when renewal of her contract which finished on Sept. 30 was discussed.

"It was a decision taken by both sides that she would not stay," he said.

"The idea was to make a joint statement after the shows ... it wasn't an unexpected decision. Gentucca Bini's announcement

(by email) was unexpected," he added.

(Reporting by Jo Winterbottom and Ilaria Polleschi; editing by Robert Hart)

(([email protected]; +39 02 66129 442; Reuters Messaging: [email protected])) Keywords: ITALY GIGLI/

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