Sep 23, 2012
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Sonia Rykiel appoints new artistic designer

Sep 23, 2012

PARIS - French fashion brand Sonia Rykiel has hired a new artistic director as part of efforts to re-launch its collections and expand into new markets such as Asia, it said on Friday.

Geraldo da Conceicao, who worked at Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent and more recently at Louis Vuitton (part of LVMH) as design director, replaces Scottish-born April Crichton, officially appointed artistic director only a year ago.

Jean-Marc Loubier (Fung Brands) has taken to restructuring the brand's top management since he purchased the company last February

Crichton will leave the company, Sonia Rykiel said, after many years at the house.

"Geraldo da Conceicao's mission is to design and carry out the creative relaunch of the women's ready-to-wear and accessories collections," Sonia Rykiel said in a statement.

The move comes after the brand was acquired earlier this year by Hong Kong investors Victor and William Fung through their Fungs Brands company, leaving the Rykiel family with a 20 percent stake.

The Fung family is behind the Li & Fung trading house, which is the parent of Hong Kong-based menswear maker and distribution group Trinity, in turn the owner of Italian menswear brand Cerruti since 2010.

At the time of Fung Brand's acquisition in February, Jean-Marc Loubier, chief executive of Fung Brands, said Crichton would remain in her post and the brand would continue to hold fashion shows.

The fashion company said it would not hold a fully-fledged show during Paris Fashion Week next week as it traditionally does, but would hold a showroom presentation to journalists and buyers by appointment only.

Da Conceicao will present his first collection at Paris Fashion Week in March.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by David Holmes)

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