Veteran Shoe Brand Sergio Rossi Has Been Sold by Kering

Courtesy of Sergio Rossi
Hilary Rhoda for Sergio Rossi's spring 2015 campaign

The end of an era for the struggling brand.

Kering, the owners of such luxury brands as Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Stella McCartney, has sold Sergio Rossi to Italian buyout firm Investindustrial. As reported by Business of Fashion, the companies said that the deal will ensure the long-term development of the once-thriving Italian shoemaker. Investindustrial’s other current investments include Aston Martin and Perfume Holding.

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Kering bought Rossi in 1999 and decided to sell after a nearly two-decade partnership, due to recent net losses in the millions for Kering, largely attributed to Rossi. The beginning of the end of the partnership came when Rossi CEO and president Christophe Melard parted ways with the brand in September 2014, after not living up to expectations. He was replaced by former sustainability director at Bottega Veneta, Giovanni Giunchedi.

The brand originated in 1968 after Rossi learned the craft of shoemaking from his father and went on to further his training in Milan. The company still produces its wares in the factory that Rossi built in 1966. Taking off in popularity in the 1970s, the brand collaborated with designers including Azzedine Alaia and Versace, and its shoes became mainstays on the runways of Milan. The brand currently holds more than 80 stores worldwide and has been a celebrity red-carpet favorite (Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria and Cameron Diaz are fans) over the years.