Takehiro Shiraishi to succeed Franco Penè as head of Onward Luxury Group

After a long career dedicated to the fashion sector, Franco Penè is preparing to retire. At the age of 65, the executive, who has headed Onward Luxury Group (OLG), the European subsidiary of the eponymous Japanese group, for 24 years, will be succeeded by Takehiro Shiraishi, managing director of Onward-owned British brand Jospeh since 2012.


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In the organigram that features on Onward Holdings' official website, Takehiro Shiraishi is listed as being "in charge of European Operations, European Region". He will take charge of Onward Luxury Group's three divisions: the Jil Sander brand, led by Alessandra Bettari; the footwear division, headed by Fabio Duci; and the apparel division, piloted by Carlo Taddei. 

Franco Penè started his career as a financial consultant before entering the fashion industry, working first at Italian textile group GFT, then at cosmetics company Kelemata as managing director. 

In 1989, Italian manufacturer Gibò, which was experiencing difficulties at the time, was acquired by Onward. In 1994, its relaunch was entrusted to Franco Penè, who bet on high-end products and a new generation of designers, signing licence agreements with emerging talents in order to follow and support their development. 

Paul Smith, Helmut Lang, Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf, Marc Jacobs and Hussein Chalayan are just some of the names that have been associated with Gibò, since renamed Onward Luxury Group. Under Franco Penè's direction, the company grew through the successive acquisitions of Jil Sander, Moreau and Charlotte Olympia, while maintaining an industrial network allowing it to control all of its production, including apparel, knitwear and accessories such as shoes and bags. 

Translated by Robin Driver

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