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Tommaso Aquilano, Roberto Rimondi Out at Gianfranco Ferre

>> In a move that wasn't entirely unexpected, Gianfranco Ferre creative directors Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi — who also design under the moniker Aquilano.Rimondi — are out at the brand. They joined Ferre in 2008, after the founding designer's successor Lars Nilsson was dismissed in February of that year.

A "well-placed" source told WWD that after the Fall 2011 show, “sales didn’t go well at all" and "the designers have already left.” While attending February's show, new Ferre owners Abdulkader Sankari and son Ahmed (of Paris Group) already seemed lukewarm about Aquilano and Rimondi. “We will see,” was all they would say when enquired about the designers' future at the brand.

A retailer who asked to remain anonymous also blamed poor sales for the designers' departure: “We bought a minimal amount of the collection for the sake of carrying the brand, but there simply were not enough samples. There was almost no daywear and evening wear was fairy-tale-like, something for the Oscars. It may work for a small, niche brand, but not for such a global brand.” Aquilano and Rimondi's Ferre designs were also known to be expensive, putting the brand on par with the likes of Chanel.

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