Lelio Gavazza Appointed Tom Ford Fashion CEO – WWD

MILAN – The Ermenegildo Zegna Group has appointed Lelio Gavazza to the newly created position of chief executive officer of Tom Ford Fashion, effective Sept. 18.

Gavazza will report to Gildo Zegna, chairman and CEO of the Zegna Group.

Gavazza will be in charge of Tom Ford’s fashion business, from collection development to merchandising, through production as well as retail and wholesale distribution. 

He brings more than 20 years of experience in global luxury, joining from LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, where he is currently executive vice president, sales and retail at jeweler Bulgari.

Prior to his current role at Bulgari, Gavazza held a series of key regional leadership roles, including managing director of Greater China, and managing director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 

The Estée Lauder Cos. in November acquired Tom Ford’s company in a deal valued at $2.8 billion. Lauder has owned Tom Ford Beauty and Tom Ford Parfums since 2006.

Under Lauder, Ford’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear is licensed to Ermenegildo Zegna Group, which previously held the license for menswear. In addition to Ford’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, Zegna Group is licensed for Ford’s accessories and underwear, fine jewelry, childrenswear, textile and home design products.

“Lelio’s track record of strong global leadership brings outstanding luxury expertise to Tom Ford Fashion across retail management, wholesale distribution, marketing, digital and key markets, including China,” said Gildo Zegna.

“I have personally known and appreciated Lelio for many years, and I’m confident that his world-class business acumen, deep international experience, and leadership skills will prove invaluable in the development of the Tom Ford Fashion business globally,” he added. 

Gavazza will work closely with Guillaume Jesel, president and CEO of Tom Ford, ensuring the alignment of fashion with the luxury strategy for the brand. At the time of the acquisition’s closing in April, Lauder appointed Jesel to the role and Peter Hawkings creative director of Tom Ford Fashion.

On Tuesday morning, commenting the appointment of Gavazza, Jesel said Estée Lauder and Tom Ford “have had an exceptional and longstanding relationship with Gildo Zegna and the Zegna Group. We look forward to working closely with Gildo, Lelio, and their teams to take Tom Ford Fashion to its next level in global luxury.”

In the same vein, Gavazza said with Zegna and Jesel he was aiming “to continue to foster the growth of Tom Ford at the pinnacle of luxury fashion.”

As reported, Tom Ford will present its spring 2024 womenswear collection during Milan Fashion Week in September. This will be the debut womenswear collection for Hawkings, who was Ford’s longtime collaborator and has been with the brand for 17 years.

He was previously senior vice president of Tom Ford menswear. His new responsibilities include oversight of womenswear, menswear and accessory categories and lead designer for the fashion segment and fashion shows. He reports directly to Jesel and Gavazza.

Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole will serve as brand advisers through the end of the year.

Zegna, which is publicly traded in New York, also owns the Thom Browne business. Marcolin Group has a perpetual license for Tom Ford’s eyewear collections.

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