Valextra names Xavier Rougeaux new CEO; Ralph Toledano joins board
Italian leather goods specialist Valextra has named Xavier Rougeaux to be its new chief executive officer. The appointment is effective immediately.
As part of the management shake-up at Valextra, it has also appointed Ralph Toledano, the veteran executive and president of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, to its board.
Besides being chairman of Victoria Beckham, Toledano is also a board member of Neo Investments, the private French investment vehicle that owns significant stakes in Valextra, AMI Paris, Miller Harris and Alain Mikli. Neo acquired an initial 60% stake in Valextra in 2013.
Prior to joining Valextra, Rougeaux had been CEO of Smythson in London. Previously he held senior positions at luxury brands such as Valextra, Loro Piana and Sergio Rossi.
“The shareholders are delighted to welcome Xavier back to Valextra, wishing him great success in his new role,” the company said in a release.
Founded in 1937 by Giovanni Fontana in Milan, Valextra initially gained an international reputation for making very expensive handbags in exotic hides like alligator and hippopotamus. Today it is better known for its signature soft-grained Martellato calfskin. Noted for its logo-free approach, Valextra’s bags have been carried by the likes of Gianni Agnelli, Jackie Onassis, Sharon Stone and Reese Wiherspoon.
Rougeaux replaces Sara Ferrero, who had been with Valextra since 2015. Her departure marks the fifth CEO in the past decade at the marque.
During her tenure, Ferrero organized multiple collaborations with brands and creators. Last February, she helmed a unique collab with five designer marques – Plan C, Sunnei, Massimo Alba, Arthur Arbesser and Double J – presented the brand’s flagship on Via Manzoni, the dorsal spine of central Milan, just days before the Covid-19 lockdown began. Though impressive for their skillful ideals, the collaboration did seem like a somewhat obscure strategy given the lack of a boldface designer name.
“Valextra’s Shareholders, Board of Directors, Management and the entire Team thank Sara Ferrero for the results achieved in terms of growth and strengthening of the Valextra brand across international markets. We wish her the best, professionally and personally, for the future,” the brand said in its release.
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