Fashion / Fashion News

Walter Albini is re-launching after 40 years – and a familiar face is rumoured to be leading its comeback

walter albini

Luxury fashion Houses aren't unfamiliar with the concept of a comeback – whether it was Nicolas Ghesquière's 1997 revival of Balenciaga after a near 50-year hiatus, Coco Chanel's post-WWII reboot of her eponymous 1920s label, or more recently, the 2016 relaunch of Courrèges via creative directors Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, a House whose halcyon days were the 60s and 70s.

So it's not entirely surprising to be told that yet another luxury fashion House from the past will be re-launching into the global market after nearly 40 years. You might not know of Walter Albini, but you most certainly know the man rumoured to be the Italian fashion House's new creative director.

Who is Walter Albini?

A quick fashion history lesson: Walter Albini was one of Italy's most sought-after fashion designers of the 1970s, a man whose designs helped to define the country's post-war fashion, his impact and reach on the level of contemporaries like Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. He was also one of the first fashion designers to introduce mixed and gender-fluid collections – showing mens and womenswear alongside each other on the runway.

However, when Albini passed away in 1983, his eponymous label died along with him. That is, until last week, when Swiss-based investment group Bidayat announced they had acquired the Italian designer's archives, and plan to relaunch the luxury brand globally.

“We are teaming up with various museums, cultural institutions, curators, publishers, media partners and luxury advisors to create awareness and recognition about the legacy of Walter Albini and his transformative impact on the fashion industry,” Bidayat said in a statement.

Who will be the brand's creative director?

As we all know, the success of a relaunch depends on one thing... a killer creative director leading the charge.

Fashion sleuths think the newly re-booted House may have found its new leading designer in former creative director at Gucci, Alessandro Michele. Both Italian designers are known for their flamboyant, 70s-inspired Hollywood glamour.

Since Michele's departure from Gucci last year, there's been much speculation about where he might end up next – Chanel? Lanvin? Perhaps now that Jeremy Scott has left, Moschino? Givenchy?

While Bidayat is saying they have no comment on the matter, we think the rumour mill may be onto something. Watch this space for updates as we hear more.


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