Sergio Rossi’s design director Angelo Ruggeri is exiting the Italian luxury footwear brand.
Ruggeri joined the company in 2013, succeeding Francesco Russo. In February, Ruggeri presented Twenties-inspired dainty ankle-strapped d’Orsay pumps and soft velvet platform sandals with jet sequins in line with the brand’s staple feminine designs. He was also in charge of Sergio Rossi’s men’s division.
European investment house Investindustrial in December took control of Sergio Rossi from Kering, and tapped former Pomellato chief executive officer Andrea Morante as president of the firm. In March, Riccardo Sciutto, former general manager of Hogan, joined Sergio Rossi as CEO.
While the company expressed “sincere gratitude” to Ruggeri, it did not provide additional details or future strategies.
“I am sure that we can put in place a turnaround of the brand in such a relevant sector as shoes — a segment even more significant for Italy,” Morante told Fairchild in January. “There are business opportunities that can be developed by injecting new life into the brand, a new impetus, vision and direction, leveraging a strong brand awareness in regions such as America, Europe and Japan. This could become a case study.”
Sergio Rossi relies on its production center in San Mauro Pascoli, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, one of the country’s leather goods hubs.
The company has more than 80 stores — both directly operated and franchised — mainly in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the U.S., Southeast Asia and Japan, along with wholesale distribution to such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Lane Crawford and Harrods.
Investindustrial was founded by Italian financier Andrea C. Bonomi and has stakes in Aston Martin, B&B Italia and luxury lighting firm Flos, among others. In May, it linked with Tod’s chairman and ceo Diego Della Valle and other shareholders to bid for RCS MediaGroup.
Sergio Rossi was founded by the eponymous shoemaker in the Fifties. Gucci Group, which has since been folded into Kering, snapped up a majority stake in the brand in 1999 during an aggressive acquisition drive masterminded by Domenico De Sole and Tom Ford. The group eventually took full control in 2004.
According to a Barclays estimate last year, Sergio Rossi’s revenues were pegged at about 71 million euros, or about $95 million.