Stella McCartney poaches Lanvin director as CEO

Mon Dec 1, 2008 6:49am EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - Stella McCartney, one of the only luxury fashion houses that does not use animal furs and leather, has poached the business development director of Lanvin to lead the British fashion brand, part of the Gucci Group.

Frederick Lukoff will become president and chief executive of Stella McCartney on February 23, Gucci Group said in a statement on Monday.

Founded in 2001 by the daughter of Beatles icon Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney has been profitable since 2007 and is growing rapidly, opening stores in Moscow, Beijing and Hong Kong this year.

It will open a shop in Paris and Tokyo this month.

Lukoff will leave Lanvin, one of France's oldest fashion houses, where he helped sales grow to more than 140 million euros ($181.1 million) in 2008 from 67 million euros in 2005 as head of international operations.

Lanvin, which has been in talks in recent months with potential investors to raise funds to expand, on Monday declined to comment on Lukoff's departure.

Prior to joining Lanvin, Lukoff was managing director of Paco Rabanne, another French fashion brand.

"Normally, we promote from inside the group but we always look externally to assess the talent pool available," Gucci Group's spokeswoman said.

Led by vegetarian and animal rights advocate Stella McCartney, the brand does not use animal skins or products. Shoes and handbags are made from alternative materials. It also launched an organic skin range in 2007 called CARE, developed in collaboration with YSL Beaute.   Continued...

<p>British designer Stella McCartney appears at the end of her Spring/Summer 2009 women's ready-to-wear fashion collection show in Paris October 2, 2008. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>