Balmain CEO Massimo Piombini Steps Down

Balmain has confirmed the departure of its CEO.

Massimo Piombini, who joined the luxury brand more than two and a half years ago, is leaving his post for personal reasons, the firm said in an email to FN. A new chief will be appointed in February.

Piombini, who succeeded Emmanuel Diemoz in April 2017, previously served as the worldwide commercial director at Valentino, whose parent company, like Balmain, is the Qatar-based Mayhoola for Investments.

“Under his leadership, the company has experienced a significant growth and organizational evolution, setting a solid basis for further growth of the brand in the next years,” Balmain said in a statement. “The house wishes him well on his future endeavors.”

Piombini’s exit comes amid a period of expansion for the French fashion house, which has opened stores in Miami, São Paolo, Paris, Moscow and Hong Kong over the past couple years, as well as signing a lease for a flagship in New York, scheduled to open in the first half of 2020.

Along with creative director Olivier Rousteing, Piombini has helped open up Balmain to a broader audience, including its more recent high-profile partnership with sportswear giant Puma. The boxing-inspired collaboration — borne out of the friendship between Rousteing and Puma ambassador Cara Delevingne — includes tracksuit separates, a gold-embroidered backpack and double-strap sneakers.

“We are very selective because we don’t want to dilute the brand equity, so we are very careful to accept a new cooperation, but in the case of Puma and Cara, it was, as I said before, very natural,” Piombini told FN’s sister publication WWD in a late November interview. “We’re all moving in an ecosystem where consumers are looking at fashion brands and sportswear brands in a very cohesive way, more than before. This is something that made our cooperation quite natural and authentic.”

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