Sources Say Walter Chiapponi Is Headed to Blumarine

MILAN — Sources say Walter Chiapponi, who exited his role as creative director of Tod’s in September after the brand’s womenswear spring 2024 show, is headed to Blumarine.

As reported, Nicola Brognano and Blumarine are parting ways by mutual agreement.

Chiapponi joined Tod’s in October 2019, in charge of the women’s and men’s collections for the brand. His first collection bowed with the fall 2020 season.

Before Tod’s, Chiapponi worked for years at Bottega Veneta with the brand’s former creative director, Tomas Maier. He started his career at Blumarine while it was still owned by the Tarabini family, sources said, and over the years also worked at Givenchy, Gucci, Miu Miu and Valentino.

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Chiapponi succeeded in developing understated, nonchalant yet sophisticated luxury collections that reflected the high-end lifestyle and Italian craftsmanship that Tod’s stands for. He revisited the brand’s staple Gommino pebble detail, supersizing it on Tod’s signature moccasins, ballerinas and boots, and further expanded the selection of handbags — leather and accessories being the label’s core business.

Brognano was appointed creative director of the brand at the end of 2019, right after Blumarine’s parent company Blufin moved under the control of Italian entrepreneur Marco Marchi’s EIH Eccellenze Italiane group.

If confirmed, Chiapponi’s arrival at Blumarine could potentially reflect an aesthetic change for the brand.

Tapped by Marchi to revamp the storied Italian fashion house, known for its feminine romanticism, Brognano imprinted a strong Y2K aesthetic, bringing Blumarine back into the spotlight, especially among younger generations.

Born in 1990, Brognano worked with Giambattista Valli in Paris on the designer’s ready-to-wear and couture collections, as well as at Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda.

He launched his namesake brand in 2016, the same year he won the “Who Is On Next?” contest promoted by AltaRoma with the support of Vogue Italia. Brognano’s own brand debuted in Milan in September 2017 and in few seasons, charmed with interesting volumes and a young, spontaneous take on the feminine look. As reported, a menswear counterpart was added in 2019. The label was eventually put on hold when Brognano joined Blumarine.

Over the past year, Blumarine additionally forged ties with other brands and retailers on special capsule collections, including the likes of Heaven by Marc Jacobs, Japanese shoe brand Suicoke and, most recently, Italian luxury retailer Modes.

Marchi acquired the Gruppo Blufin and its brands Blumarine, Blugirl, Anna Molinari and Be Blumarine from the founding Tarabini family in November 2019. The deal closely followed an acquisition by Eccellenze Italiane of a 15 percent stake in Italian retailer Coin SpA.

The creation of the Eccellenze Italiane conglomerate aims to boost the visibility and business of small and medium-sized Italian companies on the global scene, and in 2019, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marchi said the final goal for the group was an initial public offering. Marchi is also the founder of contemporary label Liu Jo, where he hired Moncler SpA alum Paola Durante as general manager, suggested a renewed interest to go public. Marchi had originally planned a listing of Liu Jo in 2018, a project that the entrepreneur has said was postponed because of unfavorable market conditions.

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