PARIS, July 8 (Reuters) - Buccellati, one of the last remaining independent Italian high-end jewellers, has named veteran fashion manager Thierry Andretta as chief executive.
Andretta ran Celine at LVMH in the late 1990s and spent several years at Gucci Group, the old name of Kering’s luxury arm, before running Lanvin, where he doubled sales to more than 236 million euros during his four-year tenure.
Monday’s announcement came less than four months after Italian private equity fund Clessidra took a majority stake in Buccellati, concluding more than a year of on-and-off negotiations with the jeweller’s family owners.
Buccellati, which financial advisers said was courted by big luxury groups such as LVMH and Kering prior to the Clessidra deal, is known for its signature lace rings and necklaces favoured by monarchs and movie stars.
The jeweller’s cascades of gems can fetch more than $1 million and many are one of a kind.
Buccellati, whose wares are still designed by members of its founding family, also stands out by refusing to routinely lend necklaces and broaches to actresses strutting the red carpets at the Cannes film festival or the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood.
Financial details of the Clessidra transaction were not published but the terms included a capital increase.
Under Andretta’s leadership, the brand will develop its watches business as well as its presence worldwide, particularly in new markets such as the Middle East and Russia.
“Watches have big potential for Buccellati,” Andretta told Reuters, adding the brand aimed to compete in high-end jewellery watches with brands such as privately held Chopard and Van Cleef & Arpels, part of the luxury group Richemont. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by David Cowell)