Alessandra Facchinetti's name has been in the press many times before: First, as Tom Ford's successor at Gucci; then, as the creative director at Valentino. While Fachinetti's work at both of these houses was generally respected, if not lauded, neither appointment proved the right fit.
In 2011, Facchinetti launched contemporary collection Uniqueness in partnership with Italian company Pinko. Uniqueness was, well, unique in that every piece was available to purchase online directly after the runway show.
But Facchinetti has now severed ties with Pinko in order to join Tod's as its creative director, replacing Derek Lam.
I spoke with Facchinetti yesterday over the phone about her new job.
Fashionista: Congrats on your appointment! How did this come about? Alessandra Facchinetti: In a very, very normal way. [Tod’s ceo Diego Della Valle] called me a month ago, explaining to me that he was looking for someone to take the women’s line in a new direction—accessories, advertising. A very big position. He said, “I think you are the right person.” That’s it. I’m really, really happy—in a way I think we have a lot of things in common. I’m an Italian designer, he’s an Italian manager.
Will you continue to work on Pinko’s Uniqueness line? I worked with Uniqueness for the last two years, but everything has changed. [Tod’s] is going to be full-time work. I’ll need to focus. Two days ago, [Pinko and I] decided not to proceed together. [Tod’s] asked for an exclusive.
You’ve worked with some of fashion’s biggest brands, including Miu Miu, Valentino, and Gucci. How will your background influence your work at Tod’s? I think that they were very excited by the fact that I’m a woman. I will bring my femininity and taste. [Della Valle] knows my DNA. The brand is focused on the accessories; obviously the ready-to-wear at the moment is very small. It’ll be a little bit bigger but very, very special. He wants to do special products, unique pieces.
Who do you think the Tod’s woman is today? There’s a sporty feeling there, since most of the work they’ve done is in accessories and day wear. I’ve always worked for a company that is luxury. I really like that sporty feeling, but at the same time what we will do is probably add more femininity, more high heels... It’s a sophisticated woman, and there are plenty of opportunities to dress her in life. There is a lot to do.
Have you thought about how you’ll approach the classic Tod’s driving moccasin? Not really! Everything happened very quick. I didn’t even meet anyone [at the company] before making my decision. I have an idea, a general opinion. In September, at my first show, you’ll be able to see.
What do you think the modern woman wants from a luxury brand? I think that women at the moment—my personal opinion, I’m also a consumer—I think we need to find that special something. Something you cannot find everywhere. When you can find something everywhere, it can make you bored in a way. That’s why I think it’s interesting to see [the ready-to-wear] at very few stores, have a small distribution. Let’s come back to the old system in a way. Everything is overexposed.