Versace appoints an outsider to lead revival

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The Independent Online

Versace, the troubled Italian fashion house beloved by Liz Hurley, has broken with tradition and charged an outsider with reviving its fortunes.

Versace, the troubled Italian fashion house beloved by Liz Hurley, has broken with tradition and charged an outsider with reviving its fortunes.

The group, which has never recovered from the murder of its namesake Gianni Versace seven years ago, yesterday appointed the former boss of Fendi, Giancarlo Di Risio, as its new chief executive.

The move is a sign of the growing desperation at the company, which plunged to a €26.5m (£18m) loss in 2002.

It comes one month after Gianni Versace's niece Allegra Versace Beck inherited a 50 per cent stake on her 18th birthday. The other half is split between Gianni's siblings: Donatella, its chief designer, and her brother Santo, who chairs the fashion house.

The company also announced three new board appointments: Marco Salomoni - who has experience of sitting on the board of rival fashion group Prada - Paolo Colombo and Massimo Cremona.

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