Jun 9, 2009
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Versace names Jil Sander executive Ferraris as CEO

Jun 9, 2009

MILAN, June 9 (Reuters) - Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace SpA named Gian Giacomo Ferraris of the Jil Sander Group as its new chief executive from July 15, after Giancarlo Di Risio resigned last week.

Kate Moss for Versace's publicity campaign, Spring-Summer 2009

The designer, known for its Medusa-head logo and penchant for gold, said in a statement on Tuesday 9 June that Ferraris' appointment aimed to "guarantee a strong, competent and united managerial leadership" for the group.

Italian newspapers have reported that Di Risio and design head Donatella Versace had disagreed sharply over strategy, especially cost cuts, as the current financial crisis bites into even luxury fashion designers.

Versace last month denied any friction.

Di Risio was hired in 2004 and set about restructuring the company, which is owned by Donatella Versace, her brother, Santo, and her daughter, Allegra.

Donatella's other brother and founder of the business, Gianni Versace, was killed by gunman Andrew Cunanan in 1997.

Donatella took over design of the fashion collections and in recent years has moved away from the house's trademark theatrical gold and glitz to more wearable outfits.

Kim Winser, former head of British luxury clothing brand Aquascutum who had been tipped as a possible new head for Versace, told Reuters Global Luxury Summit earlier on Tuesday 9 June that she liked Donatella's last catwalk show.

But she had declined to comment on her next career move after her management buyout bid for Aquascutum was rejected by Japanese owners Renown (3606.T) last month.

Ferraris, who was chief executive at Jil Sander, has more than 20 years of experience in the luxury goods sector, Versace said in its statement.

Di Risio has agreed to stay on to smooth the transition. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Jo Winterbottom; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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