THE house of Rochas is to make a comeback - and word has it that Marco Zanini, who exited Halston earlier this year, will be the designer to put it firmly back on the fashion map.
Having closed its operations two years ago due to financial woes (despite Nina Ricci's current creative director, Olivier Theyskens, having spent a critically acclaimed three years at the helm), owner Proctor & Gamble has signed a global licensing agreement with Italy's Gibò Co SpA to manufacture and distribute ready-to-wear for the label.
While the first collection is slated to debut in March 2009, there's still no word - yet - on who will design it, although The Daily asserts that Zanini is in talks to take on the role.
The official word from Gibò, however, is that it's still an open race. "We are still evaluating the designer amidst a pool of candidates because the agreement was just finalised on Monday," the company's president, Franco Penè, tells today's WWD. "This license is actually more of a joint venture with Procter & Gamble because they will bring their marketing skills and we will contribute our fashion know-how to develop Rochas with ready-to-wear, knitwear and accessories."
"This new project reflected our desire to build and develop real luxury brands also by exploiting our industrial network, which is what we want to do with both Jil Sander and with this start up."