Brioni Confirms Margiela and Vetements Alum Nina-Maria Nitsche as Creative Director


Italian menswear label Brioni has confirmed Nina-Maria Nitsche as its new creative director. The designer succeeds Justin O’Shea who held the title for just six months. Nitsche joins after 23-years at Maison Margiela where she worked closely with the house’s eponymous founding designer before eventually taking creative control in 2009 after his resignation. In September 2016, she held a position on the design team at Vetements, but left shortly after the brand’s relocation from Paris to Zurich.

Nitsche’s arrival at Brioni is promising. In a release from the house, she states that her goals are to „reinforce and invigorate the brand’s pioneering approach to menswear.” Fabrizio Malverdi, Brioni’s chief executive officer, added the following: “I am very pleased to welcome Nina-Maria Nitsche to the House of Brioni. Ever since I met her in 1996, I have been impressed by her creative approach, starting form a clearly defined concept and then transforming that into products that accurately resonate with the customer. Her point of view will allow the brand’s core values to prosper and yet inject a contemporary dialogue that will enable Brioni to evolve in the future.”

Malverdi, who joined Brioni in April of this year, is charged with accelerating the brand’s international success following a period of turmoil. The company’s previous state of flux had much to do with its positioning of two different creative directors in less than a year, which perplexed many of its buyers and costumers.

Best known for his time as managing director at Dior Homme and as CEO of Givenchy, Malverdi has garnered extensive expertise in the market of high-end menswear. Having most recently served as CEO of Agent Provocateur, Malverdi reports to Jean-François Palus, managing director of Kering and parent owner of Brioni.

For Kering’s chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault, the decision to appoint Nitsche was a much needed one. “I am delighted to welcome Nina-Maria Nitsche to Brioni and within Kering,” he said in a press release. “Nina-Maria has a very accurate understanding of the Brioni man and she will bring a comprehensive and articulate creative vision to the house. I am sure that, together with Fabrizio Malverdi, she will build on the house’s tradition of exceptional craftsmanship to propel Brioni into a new dynamic.”

Nitsche’s succession of O’Shea, a women’s buyer with no previous design experience, happens after his abrupt departure from the company in October 2016. During his brief stint, O’Shea was tasked with rebranding the house. His direction proved to be out of sync with long-standing Brioni customers. He infamously tapped Metallica for the label’s Fall 2016 campaign series.

Nina-Maria’s lasting experience in the industry at such highly-esteemed houses is a hopeful reinforcement of Brioni’s core identity as a heritage brand—72 years of heritage, to be exact.


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