Valentino to clarify designer's future after show-press

Fri Oct 3, 2008 8:07am EDT
 
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MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Valentino Fashion Group will clarify in three or four days whether designer Alessandra Facchinetti will stay with the fashion house, its CEO said in an Italian newspaper on Friday, amid speculation she will be replaced.

Facchinetti took over from founding designer Valentino Garavani, whose floor-sweeping gowns were a favorite with Hollywood stars, after he retired in January.

She is due to present the ready-to-wear spring/summer 2009 collection in Paris on Friday.

"We do not think it is elegant to pick up on rumors ... After the show, after Alessandra's work is finished, we will see," Chief Executive Stefano Sassi told Corriere della Sera newspaper in its Friday issue.

"We will all sit together, all the protagonists ... the right day to clarify (this) won't be (Friday), we will do it in three to four days."

Italian newspapers have cited rumors that the former Gucci designer may leave the group, bought by private equity group Permira last year.

Facchinetti, who is in her thirties, stuck closely to Valentino's style with glamorous chiffon dresses in her first collection in February. However, she also showed skirts and suits to be worn in the boardroom rather than on the red carpet.

Valentino is trying to broaden the brand's appeal and lure younger customers.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)