After nearly four years in the role, Graziano de Boni will step down as chief executive officer of Giorgio Armani Corp., the North American subsidiary of the Armani Group. He will be succeeded by Giuseppe Marsocci, ceo of Armani’s Swiss branch who heads the Armani Group’s worldwide Diffusion Division.
Marsocci, who starts his new role on Jan. 1, will relocate to New York and report to Livio Proli, worldwide managing director. Marsocci has been in his present role since 2010, having joined Armani in 2003.
De Boni, whose resignation is effective at the end of the year, was unavailable Wednesday for comment on his plans. “I would like to thank Graziano for his contribution to the growth of the North American business over the last four years, and I wish him all the best for his future endeavors,” said Giorgio Armani, chairman and ceo of the Armani Group.
De Boni joined Armani in January 2011 at a time when the U.S. arm was looking to capitalize on the momentum of the Italian house. He initiated a multipronged strategic plan that included strengthening the main Giorgio Armani brand for women and men, which serves as the umbrella for the other U.S. brands such as Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans and Armani Junior. At the time of his hiring, de Boni said his initial focus would be to develop the Giorgio Armani main line, which had always done well in its own freestanding stores, but hadn’t been developed to the extent that it should have at wholesale. He said women’s was further developed than men’s, which was in just a handful of stores in America.
Industry sources said Armani’s business is doing well in North America and is on a good path. When de Boni joined Armani, the North American business accounted for 17.3 percent of the group’s total business. Today, North America accounts for 20 percent of the overall net revenues, according to a spokesman. One of de Boni’s goals was to expand the number of freestanding Giorgio Armani stores in North America, which in 2011 numbered 12. Today there are 19.
Another opportunity was to expand the number of Emporio Armani stores, which in 2011 numbered nine. Today there are 16. Overall, there are 97 directly operated Armani stores in North America, excluding A|X Armani Exchange, which has 110 units. The 97-unit figure includes the Giorgio Armani stores, 16 Emporio Armani units, three Armani Casa stores, three Armani Jeans ones, six Collezioni units, as well as shops-in-shop.
De Boni has had a diversified career in the luxury fashion business. Prior to joining Armani, he was president of Reed Krakoff for one year. Before that he was president and ceo of Prada USA for 18 months, and earlier was with Valentino, where he was president of worldwide sales, marketing and retail, in addition to president and CEO ofValentino USA. During his time at Valentino, de Boni was credited with building sales in America from $24 million in 2002 to $67 million in 2006. Previously, he was president and ceo of Marzotto USA. Earlier in his career, he was with Hugo Boss, then a division of Marzotto, for six years, rising to executive vice president.