"Paul has a dynamic vision for the Ferragamo woman, which he has demonstrated with crystal precision and success in footwear over the past year," says Eraldo Poletto, chief executive of the Ferragamo group. "He has a sensitivity for the essential codes and values of the Ferragamo house, and is able to recast and reassert them with an exciting, modern energy. I am confident that with this new responsibility, Paul will now be able to creatively unify all categories of the women's business with coherence, strengthening our brand identity."
The British footwear designer — who rose to acclaim after launching his namesake label in 2012 and was the winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition in 2015 — joined the Italian house as design director of women's footwear in September 2016. In his new role at the brand, Andrew will oversee the development of all women's categories and offer creative input in regards to marketing, communication and overall brand image.
Andrew’s appointment is the latest in a string of accessories designers chosen to lead a ready-to-wear brand, following in the footsteps of Mulberry creative director Johnny Coca (ex-accessories designer at Céline) and Gucci's Alessandro Michele. Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, of Valentino, began their careers together as accessories designers of Fendi in 1989, before moving to the Italian maison under Valentino Garavani to head up the accessories department in 1999.
Most luxury labels make the majority of their revenue on accessories: the Ferragamo group — which announced revenues of €1.4 billion ($1.64 million at current exchange) in 2016 — generates 79.3 percent of its income across the footwear and leather goods categories. Ready-to-wear encompasses 6.5 percent. Accessories designers often have a better understanding of merchandising, which further serves to boost sales.
"I am grateful for the confidence and trust the Ferragamo group and family have put in me," says Andrew. "I am thrilled by the opportunities that lay ahead in forging a single, powerful identity for the Ferragamo woman."