Brioni Hires Nina-Maria Nitsche As Its New Creative Director

The longtime Maison Martin Margiela designer replaces Justin O'Shea after his six-month stint leading the menswear house.
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Brioni's New York flagship. Photo: Courtesy

Brioni's New York flagship. Photo: Courtesy

After Justin O'Shea's sudden departure from Brioni, where he served as creative director for only six months, the Kering-owned brand has finally hired his replacement: Nina-Maria Nitsche. 

The newly appointed creative director, whose role is effective immediately, will be responsible for Brioni's collections and general image. Previously, Nitsche designed for Maison Martin Margiela since 1989 — working alongside Margiela himself for 23 years — and by 2009, she took on creative direction for the French house. (In 2014, it was announced that John Galliano would design its couture and ready-to-wear collections.)

Under O'Shea, Brioni went under a massive metal makeover, revamping its logo into gothic type and casting the members of Metallica for an advertising campaign. And from O'Shea's very short stint with the brand, perhaps the new look for such a legacy brand didn't bode well with the higher-ups at Kering. According to a press release from Brioni and Kering, Nitsche's experience in the industry "will enable her to reinforce the clarity of Brioni's identity, emphasize its sartorial values and reinstate its pioneering heritage."

"I am very pleased to welcome Nina-Maria Nitsche to the House of Brioni," said Brioni CEO Fabrizio Malverdi in an official statement. "Ever since I met her in 1996, I have been impressed by her creative approach, starting from a clearly defined concept and then transforming that into products that accurately resonate with the customer. Her point of view will allow the brand's core values to prosper and yet inject a contemporary dialogue that will enable Brioni to evolve into the future."

Added Nitsche, "I am honored to collaborate with the House of Brioni. Thanks to its long sartorial history, Brioni has the potential to redefine its position as a unique luxury brand. The House's philosophy is based on a pioneering approach to menswear. My aim is to reinforce and invigorate this longstanding tradition."

It has yet to be confirmed when exactly we'll see Nitsche's debut approach to redefining Brioni, but given Kering's successful history of hiring more unknown, behind-the-scenes designers to lead their biggest brands — Alessandro Michele for Gucci and Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, for example — we have a feeling this is a smart and prosperous decision for the historic menswear house.

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