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Marni Names Stefano Rosso CEO

The appointment of Rosso, who will remain chair of Maison Margiela, signals a further commitment to drive growth of the Italian brand.

Marni Names Stefano Rosso CEO

Stefano Rosso

MILAN — Signaling the increasing importance of Marni for parent OTB Group, Stefano Rosso on Friday was named the brand’s new chief executive officer.

Rosso, who is the son of OTB group founder and chairman Renzo Rosso, will retain the role of chair of Maison Margiela, and is a board member of the OTB Group and CEO of BVX (Brave Virtual Xperience), the business unit of OTB dedicated to the development of products, content and experiences for the virtual world. 

At Marni, he succeeds Barbara Calò, who will support Rosso during a transition period. Rosso will report to OTB Group CEO Ubaldo Minelli.

“Marni is a unique brand that has built a solid global positioning in the last few years and Stefano will have the important responsibility of fast-tracking Marni’s positioning on the luxury market,” said Renzo Rosso. “The new post is a further step forward in his professional career. I believe that his international experience and innovative vision will prove decisive in raising Marni’s iconic profile and reaching an even broader audience.”

“It’s a special moment for Marni, and [creative director] Francesco Risso has done an incredible job; he has created a wonderful community that didn’t think twice to jump on a plane to go to Tokyo for the show. It’s a very diverse group,” Renzo Rosso told WWD. “Francesco has enormously rejuvenated and refreshed Marni, shining the light on the brand, and this was the right moment to channel all this creativity into further growth, driving operations and  leading the industrial plan. It’s a big challenge and very important for Stefano and for the group.”

Asked about his talents, Rosso said Stefano has developed a “wide-ranging experience. He is rational, grounded, and wise, yet also a visionary. He complements me; I am more impulsive and he often makes me take the time to mull over things. With Stefano and Francesco, I think Marni can become a true luxury and important international brand.”

“By appointing Stefano as Marni CEO, we wanted to strengthen the leadership of a brand that is a fundamental driver for the growth of the entire OTB Group,” said Minelli. “Marni still has great potential to be explored and we are convinced that Stefano is the right person to take it forward. I want to thank Barbara Calò for leading Marni’s development in the last few years and for her work in our group.”

Stefano Rosso sits on the board of directors of OTB and, since October 2021, has also been a member of the board of Aura Blockchain Consortium, representing OTB as steering member, alongside LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Prada Group, and Compagnie Financière Richemont.

Stefano Rosso is the cofounder and CEO of D-Cave, the gaming community lifestyle platform, and is also the president of L.R. Vicenza, Italy’s Serie C football club.

He holds a bachelor of arts in international trade and marketing from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and began his professional career collaborating with brands such as Zoo York of American group Ecko Unlimited.

Stefano Rosso first joined OTB Group as brand manager of the five-pocket denim category, and then held the role of strategic brand alliances director at Diesel, where he managed collaborations with global brands such as Adidas Originals and Ducati.

In 2011, he became director of corporate development of OTB Group, and in February 2013 he was appointed co-CEO. In 2017 he became CEO of Diesel North America, a responsibility he left after his mandate ended in 2020, returning the operation to profitability after leading a turnaround following a Chapter 11 plan.

Marni Names Stefano Rosso CEO

Marni, fall 2024

In addition to Marni, OTB controls the Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, and Viktor&Rolf brands, production arms Staff International and Brave Kid, and holds a stake in the Amiri brand.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, OTB net sales amounted to 1.8 billion euros, climbing 9.1 percent compared with 1.63 billion euros in 2022.

Marni, Jil Sander and Maison Margiela make up OTB’s luxury segment, which reported 17.6 percent growth at constant exchange rates and which helped drive group sales, but the OTB does not disclose revenues by brand. However, it was revealed that Marni last year posted growth of 8.6 percent. The brand in 2023 opened 16 boutiques. There are now 108 Marni stores, including freestanding units, concessions and outlets.

Japan is historically a strong market for Marni and in 2024 the brand will continue to focus on the region and on the development of China. The main openings this year in China have been Suzhou Cangjie and Macao Galeries Lafayette. In Japan, a boutique opened in Tokyo Shibuya and openings in Singapore; Macao; and Nagoya, Japan, are planned for the next few months.

 OTB’s most important retail development project in China in 2022 was JC Plaza mall in Shanghai, which comprises large-scale stores for Maison Margiela, Jil Sander, Marni and Amiri — four units spanning a total area of 25,833 square feet, which also includes exhibition spaces and interactive areas.

Marni also just inked a 20-year licensing agreement with Coty for the production of beauty products and fragrances.

The brand in February returned to the Milan Fashion Week calendar after showing in New York, Tokyo and Paris.