Valentino pins right balance with new line: CEO

Tue Nov 3, 2009 12:40pm EST
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MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Italy's Valentino has pinned down the right balance for the fashion brand whose founder retired last year with its latest womenswear collection receiving "great response" from press and buyers, its CEO said.

Valentino's founder, Valentino Garavani, retired last year after heading the house for nearly half a century and making its trademark red evening gowns regulars on the red carpets at the Oscars, Cannes film festival and elsewhere.

His successor Alexandra Facchinetti lasted less than a year before leaving "embittered." She was replaced by in-house team Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.

Last month they showed short feminine dresses with ruffles and dramatic bows at their spring/summer 2010 show in Paris.

"The collection got a great response in terms of press," Valentino Fashion Group Chief Executive Stefano Sassi told reporters on the sidelines of a fashion event on Tuesday.

"We are satisfied as it represents the new vision of Valentino that we were looking for -- it had personality, it was autonomous but also it was linked to Valentino's history but also very new and diverse."

"The right balance is not easy to find. I believe that we are on the right path in having pinned it down firmly," he said.

Sassi said the line also got positive feedback from buyers and that he was seeing an improvement at the wholesale level.

"You still need time to talk about a stable improvement in the market," he said.   Continued...

<p>Models present creations by Italian designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli as part of their Spring/Summer 2010 women's collection for fashion house Valentino during Paris Fashion Week, October 6, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>