The founding family of famed Italian brand Marni have announced that they will be stepping down from the company and handing over the role of creative director to Francesco Risso. The Castiglioni family announced the new appointment Friday. Consuelo Castiglioni, Marni’s now former creative director, passed the fashion reigns to Risso, who was a former designer at Prada, according to the New York Times.
Risso, 33, a relative unknown in the industry, will be overseeing the creative and design direction at Marni, a brand celebrated for its off-beat, eclectic, and sometimes, eccentric pieces. His first collection under the Marni brand will debut for Milan Fashion Week in February 2017.
Marni was launched by Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni Castiglioni in 1994 and became a brand known for its innovative, boundary pushing styles. Marni currently has 100 stores around the world and turns over around $181 million, according to the New York Times. The announcement also noted that the Castiglioni couple’s son, Giovanni, who worked in operations for the company, and their daughter, Carolina, who worked on special projects, children’s wear and communications, would also step down from their roles, as well.
“These were hectic and exciting years which absorbed all of my energies to create a project I am proud of,” Consuelo Castiglioni said in a statement, speaking on her decision to pass the torch. “The time has now come to dedicate myself to my private life. I thank all the people who believed in this project and who, with loyal dedication, have helped me along this fantastic journey.”
So who exactly is Risso and what kind of splash can the industry expect to see from the Italian designer?
Risso studied at Polimoda in Italy before moving to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and graduating from Central St. Martins in London, where industry titans like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano studied. Although Risso does not have the star power of, say, a Raf Simons, the former creative director of Dior and now the chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, Risso is still highly regarded in Milan. The designer’s resume is pure Italian, through and through. He held former positions at Anna Molinari, Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Malo, prior to designing at Prada, according to Vogue.