Creative Director Walter Chiapponi Exits Blumarine

MILAN — Walter Chiapponi is exiting Blumarine after only one collection designed for the Italian brand.

On Thursday morning, Marco Marchi, sole administrator of parent company Eccellenze Italiane Holding, in a statement thanked Chiapponi for his “vision and commitment,” while revealing his departure. The designer was named creative director in November and unveiled his first collection for Blumarine last month during Milan Fashion Week.

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“This was for me a sort of return to the future to which I dedicated all my love and my creative passion,” stated Chiapponi, who first started his career working at Blumarine with founder Anna Molinari. “In this path my gratitude goes first and foremost to Marco Marchi, who made it possible, but also to all those without whom wouldn’t have been able to express myself as I did. I am especially referring to people I have loved and who are no longer with us, but who continue to instill strong emotions in me, to inspire my feelings and my journey. I now want to concentrate on new initiatives and projects with a social and humanitarian scope before returning at a later date, at the right time, to the catwalk.”

No additional explanations were given, but Chiapponi has been open about his struggles coping with the sudden death last year of his nephew Noah, whom in a January Instagram post, he calls “the joy of my life.” In the same post, he defines 2023 a “horrible year in which I had to say goodbye to three of the beings that I loved the most,” referring, in addition to Noah, to Davide Renne, Moschino’s former creative director, and Cleonice, “a Weimaraner that I loved for 12 years.”

The Milanese designer was previously creative director of Tod’s, exiting in September and following this departure, Chiapponi traveled to Uganda with To Get There, the association assisting people and children in need in that country and in Sudan and founded by ambassador of the Children for Peace and president of Women Management Milan model agency Piero Piazzi and fashion consultant Massimo Leonardelli. The designer posted several images of his experience, which clearly gave him a sense of purpose and solace.

Chiapponi succeeded Nicola Brognano, who in October parted ways with the brand after four years.

Blumarine Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Milan Fashion Week
Blumarine fall 2024

Chiapponi joined Tod’s in October 2019, in charge of the women’s and men’s collections for the brand. His first collection bowed with the fall 2020 season. After studying at the European Institute of Design, he started his career in the late 1990s with Alessandro Dell’Acqua and then collaborated with Givenchy, Valentino, Gucci, Miu Miu and Bottega Veneta with then-creative director Tomas Maier.

“This is an experience that will remain singular at a special moment in Blumarine’s history,” Marchi said. “I am grateful to Walter Chiapponi for pouring so much of himself in this collection. It has been an extraordinary adventure and I wish Walter all the best for the continuation of his journey.”

With the fall collection for Blumarine, Chiapponi stated his intention to shift away from Brognano’s Y2K aesthetics, returning to Molinari’s original romantic ethos, reprising her signature roses as patterns on ethereal gowns, pajama sets and technical outerwear, for example, and he also introduced 10 menswear looks.

Recently, Blumarine forged ties with other brands and retailers on special capsule collections, including the likes of Heaven by Marc Jacobs, Japanese shoe brand Suicoke and, most recently, Italian luxury retailer Modes.

Marchi acquired the Gruppo Blufin and its brands Blumarine, Blugirl, Anna Molinari and Be Blumarine from the founding Tarabini family in November 2019. The deal closely followed an acquisition by Eccellenze Italiane of a 15 percent stake in Italian retailer Coin SpA.

The creation of the Eccellenze Italiane conglomerate aims to boost the visibility and business of small and medium-sized Italian companies on the global scene, and in 2019, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marchi said the final goal for the group was an initial public offering.

Marchi is also the founder of contemporary label Liu Jo.

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