Charismatic Claudio Burnishes Brooks Brothers Brand—Taps Zac Posen as Creative Director, Women’s Collection


By Elisabeth Laurence

I first met Claudio Del Vecchio last year at a reception at Brooks Brothers in San Francisco honouring Trevor Traina for being named one of 50 top philanthropists by Town & Country.

Trevor was the honoree, but that night Del Vecchio was the star. Everyone wanted to talk to him. When Del Vecchio speaks to you—all 10,000 watts are on.

Part of Del Vecchio’s appeal is his charm—he has an energetic, larger-than-life personality with distingué European manners, but it is his compelling and unwavering vision as Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers–America’s oldest men’s clothier, his focus on the DNA of the brand, and his prescience to know what’s needed—and to act on it—that’s made him a success.

Bringing Thom Browne to the fold to design the retailer’s “Black Fleece” collection was a stroke of genius, and now appointing Zac Posen Creative Director of Brooks Brothers’ main women’s collection and accessories—to guide and add his innovative perspective to the brand, is spot-on.

Posen’s star has been rising high in the sky of late, concurrent with successes with his recent collections and a caffeine-sized jolt in the world of buzz by serving as a judge for Project Runway.

Posen, who, every time I see him is both multi-talented and unfailingly polite—whether at New York Fashion Week, or even as we were chatting at a luncheon for the San Francisco Ballet last year—is, at 33, on a strong upward trajectory that feels solid—he’s got his mojo.

“He’s someone we trust and admire for what he does,” Del Vecchio told WWD, “We want to better ourselves and have another point of view.”

Womenswear accounts for 20% of Brooks Brothers annual sales of $1.2 billion.

Posen’s creativity will help rachet up the numbers on the female front—and appeal to both mainstay customers and emerging growth sectors of younger women.

Ottima decisione Claudio.

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