February 8, 2008 / 8:58 PM / 10 years ago

Ferre parts with creative director after 5 months

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Gianfranco Ferre has parted ways with Lars Nilsson just five months after hiring him as creative director.

The news, broken late on Friday by the group’s parent, IT Holding, comes a little more than a week before it is to present its women’s collection during Milan’s fashion week.

Nilsson, a former designer for Christian Lacroix, had been the first outside hire for the job following the death of the house’s founder, Gianfranco Ferre.

IT Holding did not give a reason for Nilsson’s departure, but a market source said “the conditions did not exist to foster a good relationship.”

Swedish designer Lars Nilsson poses between two creations of Gianfranco Ferre's Fall/Winter 2008/09 men's collection during Milan Fashion Week. Italian fashion house Gianfranco Ferre has parted ways with Nilsson just five months after hiring him as creative director. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said the decision was “consensual.”

Nilsson’s arrival and departure are part of a series of changes at the house since Ferre’s death in June.

In November, the house hired Michela Piva as chief executive. Piva was to work with Nilsson on new positioning for the label’s image.

The collection to be sent down the catwalk on February 18 was designed by the house’s creative team and not Nilsson, even though he was supposed to have made his runway debut this year, the source said.

Nilsson’s first and only collection for the house, his menswear show in January, was shown in an unusual “presentation” style, with static models in a theatrical setting and no catwalk show.

IT Holding described the forthcoming collection as a tribute to the founder’s style. One of Italy’s most feted designers, Ferre, trained as an architect, was known for his tailoring skills.

Reporting by Gilles Castonguay; Editing by Brian Moss

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