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MILAN – Blumarine said Thursday it has appointed Walter Chiapponi as its new creative director. WWD first reported last month that sources believed Chiapponi was joining the Italian brand. His first Blumarine collection will bow in February during Milan Fashion Week.

The Milanese designer was previously creative director of Tod’s, exiting in September after the brand’s womenswear spring 2024 show.

“I am confident that Walter Chiapponi, with his internationally recognised talent and his fine stylistic sensibility, will bring new energy to Blumarine while honoring the brand’s extraordinary heritage,” said Marco Marchi, sole director of Eccellenze Italiane, the holding company that owns Blumarine. “I am proud to write a new and important chapter with Walter.”

Blumarine was previously designed by Nicola Brognano, who last month parted ways with the brand after four years.

“I am delighted to have been appointed creative director of an iconic Italian brand that has outlined over time an idea of femininity that is defined by lightness and creativity,” said Chiapponi. “The possibility of contributing to establishing a new phase for Blumarine is for me an opportunity to embrace new thrilling and important horizons, to expand my vision and to restore sense to artistic expression.”

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. After studying at the European Institute of Design, he started his career in the late 1990s with Alessandro Dell’Acqua and then collaborated with Givenchy, Valentino, Gucci, Miu Miu, and Bottega Veneta with then-creative director Tomas Maier.

At Tod’s, 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 Blumarine at the end of 2019, right after its parent company Blufin moved under the control of Italian entrepreneur Marco Marchi’s EIH Eccellenze Italiane group.

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.

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, suggesting 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.