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Walter Ciapponi Leaves Tod's After Four Years As Creative Director

Walter Chiapponi, the creative director of Tod's has announced his departure from the Italian luxury fashion house after four years in charge of the men's and women's collections. The decision was mutual, according to a statement released by the company on Wednesday.

Chiapponi will present his final collection for Tod's during the Milan Fashion Week in September, showcasing the women's Spring/Summer 2024 line. The brand did not reveal who will succeed him but said that a new creative direction will be announced in the coming months.

"We thank Walter for the journey we have walked together, for his creativity, and for the commitment we have shared together", said Tod's chairman and CEO Diego Valle in the statement. "Most of all, I thank Diego and Andrea Della Valle who believed in me. Thank you for the courage, humanity, and freedom you have given me to express the best version of myself through Tod's in these years", Chiapponi added.

Chiopponi joined Tod's in 2019 from Bottega Veneta, where he worked under Tomas Maier, the former creative director. He had previously worked for brands such as Valentino, Gucci, and Miu Miu. He was hired to m the heritage brand and lead its turnaround, following the exits of Alessandra Facchinetti and Andrea Incontri, who headed up the women's and men's departments respectively.

During his tenure, Chiapponi introduced a more contemporary and edgy aesthetic to Tod's, while maintaining its core values of quality, craftsmanship, and elegance. He also collaborated with celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Chiara Ferragni, and Jaden Smith to promote the brand's image and products.

Tod's is one of the leading players in the luxury leather goods market, known for its iconic Gommino loafers and other shoes, bags, and accessories. The group also owns the Fay and Hogan labels, as well as the high-end shoemaker Roger Vivier.

Tod's has been facing challenges in recent years due to changing consumer preferences, increased competition, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, its revenues dropped by 30.4% to 637.2 million euros, while its net loss widened to 107.7 million euros from 46.3 million euros in 2019.

The group has been implementing a strategic plan to boost its performance and profitability, focusing on digital transformation, product innovation, and brand awareness. It has been strengthening its governance structure, appointing new board members and managers.

In April 2021, Tod’s announced a partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury group, which acquired a 6.8% stake in Tod’s for 75 million euros. The deal was seen as a sign of support and collaboration between the two companies, which share common values and vision.

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