2010 March 1
Celebrity favorite designer to focus on his eponymous collection
(MILAN) As first reported by The Daily in October 2009, Brian Atwood is leaving his post as creative director of Bally. The Fall 2010 collection he presented yesterday in Milan will be his last for the house. Atwood has served in this role since 2007, when he was hired by the 159-year-old Swiss brand to revamp and revitalize its image. In April 2008, private equity firm TPG Capital sold Bally to Labelux Group, a holding company that has recently purchased significant stakes in Derek Lam, Solange Azagury-Partride, and Zagliani. Representatives for both Bally and Brian Atwood declined comment.
Atwood's departure is the latest major development at this venerable house. Berndt Hauptkorn, one of the key players in the 2007 launch of Labelux, was installed as CEO of Bally on November 1, 2009. A series of executive changes followed, including a new vice president of wholesale. The brand is rumored to be repositioning itself to focus on its Swiss heritage, a move most visibly indicated by its Spring 2010 advertising campaign, which features Christy Turlington as the Alps loom large in the background.
Atwood, a former model and a graduate of FIT, has designed his eponymous line of shoes since 2001. A favorite of celebrities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman, Atwood began his career at Versace, where he designed ready-to-wear and accessories for 8 years. (He was an apprentice to Gianni Versace, who affectionally referred to him as "Brian-ino.") Atwood successfully translated his achievements in the entertainment and editorial realms to evolve Bally's reputation as a serious player in the world of high fashion. While attending events such as the Costume Institute Gala, where he has traditionally hosted a table for Bally, Atwood routinely dressed carefully-chosen celebrities such as Rachel Bilson in Bally's wares.
Atwood spends most of his time in Milan, where his brand's studio and showroom are located; his Nate Berkus-designed apartment was recently featured in Elle Decor. His designs are carried at dozens of retailers worldwide, from Net-a-porter.com to Neiman Marcus in Dallas to Topline in Kazakhstan.