Signaling a new development phase for Loro Piana — and underlining the stockpile of well-rounded management talent within LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — the French group has appointed dynamic Dior executive Damien Bertrand as the new chief executive officer of the Italian brand, which is known for its luxury fabrics and quiet chic.
Currently managing director at Christian Dior Couture, Bertrand, 48, is to take up his new role on Nov. 15. He succeeds Fabio d’Angelantonio, who is leaving Loro Piana after five years at the management helm.
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Touting his “sense of product excellence, daring ideas and commitment to brand desirability,” LVMH group managing director Toni Belloni said Bertrand has “shown the ability to deliver great results” during his five years at Christian Dior Couture.
“He is a well-rounded leader, able to get the best from people, while maintaining a strong team spirit,” Belloni added. “This skill set will help him take the beautiful Loro Piana maison to the next level.”
After an 18-year career at French beauty giant L’Oréal, Bertrand joined the Dior fashion house in 2016 as managing director in charge of women’s departments, then a new position.
He would later add responsibilities for the Dior Men and Dior Baby business units, collaborating closely with multiple creative and management teams.
According to an internal announcement seen by WWD, Bertrand is to “lead a new phase of evolution at Loro Piana and the development of new product categories,” while ensuring the maison stays true to its “extraordinary fabrics and understated elegance.”
Bertrand reports to Andrea Guerra, CEO of LVMH’s hospitality businesses and a member of the LVMH executive committee. Guerra also has oversight of the Fendi business.
In recent years LVMH has steered Loro Piana in a younger direction, recently asking Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment to design a capsule collection, a first for the brand.
It is understood that collaborations are likely to continue for a brand that, unlike other LVMH fashion maisons, lacks a visible creative director.
According to sources, Phoebe Philo, who is gearing up to launch her own fashion brand with LVMH as a minority investor, has held discussions about a one-off side project with Loro Piana, though talks have yet to be concluded and any collaboration would not be imminent.
Philo confirmed her return to fashion last July, saying she would create clothing and accessories “rooted in exceptional quality and design” — and divulge more details about her eponymous new brand in January 2022.
Given Philo’s knack for sumptuous sweaters, eye-catching coats and great-fitting pants, a Loro Piana capsule signed by her would surely bring a lightning rod of attention to the Italian brand’s women’s department.
Loro Piana could also tap any number of buzzy designers within the LVMH galaxy — which spans from Jonathan Anderson to Virgil Abloh — for future capsules.
Antoine Arnault, chairman of Loro Piana, thanked d’Angelantonio for “steering the transformation of Loro Piana from a family business to an LVMH maison, with great respect for its heritage and people.”
Arnault also credited him for “leading performance improvement and the modernization of key functions and products.”
“We wish him well in his new endeavors,” he added.
D’Angelatonio’s next move could not immediately be learned. An Italian native, he has also worked at Luxottica and its Sunglass Hut unit.
LVMH acquired an 80 percent stake in Loro Piana for 2 billion euros in 2013.
Founded in 1924 and based in Quarona, Italy, the company is billed as the largest cashmere manufacturer and the biggest single purchaser of the world’s finest wools. The brand is vertically integrated, from access to the finest raw materials to distribution, and operates with an entirely made in Italy policy via nine production sites.
Loro Piana has a total of 152 stores, of which 135 are directly operated. The company has secured locations for units in Doha, Qatar, and Palo Alto, Calif., to open in the next 12 months.
The company reached the 1 billion euro sales mark in 2019, and revenues in 2021 are forecast to surpass the 2019 figures, as reported.
A graduate of elite French school HEC, Bertrand began his career at LVMH in 1998 as Guerlain’s marketing director for Australia.
At L’Oréal group, his roles included CEO of L’Oréal U.K.; president of Maybelline New York, and CEO of L’Oréal Brazil.
A raft of brand CEOs with LVMH’s linchpin fashion and leather goods division rose through the ranks of the French group, including Serge Brunschwig at Fendi; Pascale Lepoivre at Loewe; Renaud de Lesquen at Givenchy; Séverine Merle at Celine; Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert at Rimowa, and Lisa Attia at Moynat.
Bertrand’s successor at Dior has yet to be named.