MILAN, Italy — Today, Tod’s announced the appointment of Alessandra Facchinetti as creative director of its women’s collections. In a statement, the company’s president, Diego Della Valle, cited the designer’s “passion for detail and dedication to the research of materials and manufacturing” as the reasons behind the move.
For Facchinetti, the appointment is the latest in a progression of high-profile roles. After beginning her career at Miu Miu, Facchinetti first stepped into the spotlight as Gucci’s women’s ready-to-wear director, following Tom Ford’s departure from the house, but left that position, after only two seasons, in 2005. After a subsequent stint at Moncler, Facchinetti was named chief designer at Valentino in 2007, where she stayed for just over one year.
Most recently, the designer launched a partnership with Italian apparel company Pinko. Called Uniqueness, the concept was rooted in affordability, immediacy and a novel online-focused distribution system. At the time, Facchinetti seemed genuinely excited about the new platform, telling BoF that digital media and an immediate, non-seasonal approach offered exciting possibilities not afforded by the established fashion model.
“On the web we can have feedback,” she said. “Today, by the time customers see a collection in stores they are bored, because they’ve seen it in magazines, on the internet, etc. [This new model] is exactly the opposite, we do things right in the moment, in season, so that if you want to buy something, you don’t have to wait.”
Today’s announcement marks a significant reversal for Facchinetti, as designing for Tod’s will involve a return to a traditional, seasonal model with its time-gaps between design, production and delivery to stores. So does the prestige of an upmarket house ultimately outweigh the appeal of new digital models?
Reached for comment in Milan, Facchinetti told BoF: “l think all the markets are changing and there is a need to make and deliver new products at greater speed, even for established, traditional brands; so we’ll be trying new approaches. Purely from a design point-of-view, the Tod’s DNA is part of my work experience. The brand and I have many things in common, and that’s very important to me.”