Ann Demeulemeester names Stefano Gallici as new designer
The house of Ann Demeulemeester has appointed Stefano Gallici to be its new designer, naming the new creative talent just one week after jettisoning his predecessor Ludovic de Saint Sernin.
His first collection and fashion show as creative director will be revealed on September 30 in Paris, the house confirmed in a release.
The change marks the latest switch in direction since the directional Belgian brand was acquired by Dreamers Factory, a fashion hub developed by Italian entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli, in September 2020.
After studies at the prestigious architecture and design university IUAV in Venice, Gallici began his career in Antwerp working as an assistant to Haider Ackermann. Though Gallici is something of a veteran of the Antonioli school of brands, having worked within the group since 2019. The 37-year-old has also previously been a menswear designer with Ann Demeulemeester, joining when Antonioli acquired the marque.
"Stefano immediately demonstrated a strong creativity and a clear vision for Ann Demeulemeester. He represents the DNA of the brand with an eye to the future," said Antonioli.
Little known in the industry, with less than 2,500 followers on Instagram, Gallici nonetheless has won admirers for his dark romantic rocker take on Demeulemeester men.
When Antonioli first took over, he relaunched the brand with a catwalk show conceived by a creative studio, receiving tepid reviews and applause from editors and critics who attended the event in Paris. Subsequently, the house named de Saint Sernin with much fanfare. But in the end, the Belgian-born designer departed after presenting merely one collection in Paris Fashion Week in March.
Ann Demeulemeester founded her eponymous maison back in 1985, winning a loyal following with her emotional take on rock 'n' roll revolt fashion, and faded colonial gentility. One of the famed Antwerp Six, which included Dries Van Noten and Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann was very much the designer with the most kick and vista dream of the half-dozen stars.
However, by 2013, seemingly worn out by the constant demands of presenting four collections a year, she sold her fashion house to entrepreneur Anne Chapelle in 2013. Since then she has devoted herself to poetry and interior design.
After Ann’s departure, its collections were designed by creative director Sébastien Meunier until July 2020 when Antonioli announced the acquisition of the brand, its archives, headquarters, historic flagship in Antwerp and showroom space in Paris.
Today, the founder is no longer active within the house, though she publicly supports the brand and has attended recent shows in the reign of Antonioli. He is the former joint owner of the New Guards group, later sold to Farfetch, and current boss of multi-brand boutiques in Milan, Ibiza, Turin and Lugano. Within Dreamers Factory, Antonioli has merged, in addition to the Ann Demeulemeester maison, the luxury streetwear brand 44 Label Group.
The house of Ann Demeulemeester is now based in Via Savona, a key fashion district in Milan. The brand employs over 50 people, 12 of whom are designers, and has expressed its intention to relaunch the marque by making the original style of the Antwerp-born designer more contemporary, while focusing on a medium-range price positioning.
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