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Third time’s a charm: Nina-Maria Nitsche is Brioni’s new creative director

Brioni named Nina-Maria Nitsche creative director this week. Nitsche becomes the luxury menswear brand’s third creative director since 2012.

Previously, Nitsche worked at Maison Martin Margiela, designing and working under Margiela himself. Joining the label in 1989, she took over as creative director upon Margiela’s resignation in 2009. She briefly joined Vetements in 2016 but opted not to move with them to Zurich.

Nitsche’s new position is effective immediately as the previous creative director, Justin O’Shea, abruptly left in October 2016. He had only been with the label for six months, according to WWD. Before that, Brendan Mullane, a former menswear designer at Givenchy, served as creative director from July 2012 to February 2016.

Brioni is a label with a rich history producing luxury menswear. Founded in Rome in 1945, it is known for its bespoke clothing and quality products. However, under O’Shea’s brief tenure, he edged the brand towards a new heavy metal image, even tapping Metallica for a campaign.

It didn’t fit with the brand, and Brioni seems to be moving away from this left turn. In fact, the press release announcing Nitsche’s appointment reads,

“Nitsche’s long experience and global creative perspective will enable her to reinforce the clarity of Brioni’s identity, emphasise its sartorial values and reinstate its pioneering heritage.”

It’s probably safe to assume reinstating Brioni’s heritage won’t include connections to heavy metal. Nitsche herself reinforced her commitment to the brand’s identity, adding,

“Thanks to its long sartorial history, Brioni has the potential to redefine its position as a unique luxury brand. The House’s philosophy is based on a pioneering approach to menswear. My aim is to reinforce and invigorate this longstanding tradition.”

Indeed, sticking to the label’s heritage seemed to be on everyone’s mind. François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, the luxury group that owns Brioni, said,

“Nina-Maria has a very accurate understanding of the Brioni man and she will bring a comprehensive and articulate creative vision to the House.”

We have yet to know what Nitsche has in mind for Brioni. But it’s clear she and Brioni CEO Fabrizio Malverdi will be working hard to return the label to its prestigious heritage.

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