Tsum Chair­man An­dreas Sch­mei­dler, 53

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY LUISA ZARGANI WITH CON­TRI­BU­TIONS FROM ALESSAN­DRA TURRA AND MARTINO CAR­RERA

Sch­mei­dler took on the role of chair­man of the Rus­sian depart­ment store in 2016.

An­dreas Sch­mei­dler, chair­man of Tsum, died on Satur­day af­ter a long ill­ness. He was 53.

He leaves a son, Fed­erico, aged

16. His sis­ter, Emanuela, is also well­known in the in­dus­try, head­ing her own com­mu­ni­ca­tions agency based in Mi­lan.

A fu­neral ser­vice will be held on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. at Mi­lan’s Cimitero Mag­giore in the Jewish Mu­socco sec­tion.

An­dreas Sch­mei­dler took on the role of chair­man at Tsum, the largest depart­ment store in East­ern Europe, in 2016. Speak­ing to WWD in Jan­uary, in the wake of Tsum’s 110th an­niver­sary in 2017, he said he was set on in­vest­ing in the depart­ment store, fo­cus­ing on the Rus­sian clien­tele and mak­ing sure the on­line ex­pe­ri­ence was as com­pelling as the off-line one.

“Our DNA is re­tail, and we need to de­velop that. We’re not about con­ces­sions — on the con­trary. Our aim is to serve the brands and de­velop an ex­quis­ite store on­line and off-line, some­thing unique to Tsum, unique to Moscow,” he said.

On­line re­tail also hap­pened to be Sch­mei­dler’s field of ex­per­tise, hav­ing con­sulted for Tsum on dig­i­tal be­fore tak­ing up the chair­man’s role. From

2010 to 2016, he served as Italy’s coun­try man­ager for Vente-Privee, the French e-com­merce com­pany that spe­cial­izes in on­line flash sales.

He started his ca­reer in 1983, tak­ing charge of the fam­ily’s tex­tile com­pany and turn­ing it into a Euro­pean point of ref­er­ence for in­ter­na­tional brands in terms of off-re­tail dis­tri­bu­tion, in par­tic­u­lar in ref­er­ence to TV and mail-or­der sales. In 2008 he founded Canalecorto.com, a com­mer­cial and strate­gic mar­ket­ing con­sul­tancy aimed at de­vel­op­ing al­ter­na­tive chan­nels of dis­tri­bu­tion, help­ing Ital­ian com­pa­nies de­velop their busi­ness out­side na­tional borders.

“I am deeply sad­dened be­cause I fol­lowed him very closely dur­ing his ill­ness. Ac­tu­ally, I would say we be­came closer through his ill­ness, es­pe­cially dur­ing his stay in New York,” said Ric­cardo Tor­tato, fash­ion di­rec­tor for men’s wear and Tsum.ru. “He lived these last months with great dig­nity and courage and only a few days ago we spoke on the phone. Also in these dif­fi­cult months, he liked to steer the con­ver­sa­tion on work to dis­tract him­self a lit­tle.…Be­yond his pro­fes­sional per­sona, he was a very good-hearted per­son. His new po­si­tion at Tsum had filled him with en­ergy and will to live. We promised we would wait for him be­cause Tsum is a big fam­ily and we tried to stay close to him as much as pos­si­ble. We will miss him very much.”

“We deeply re­gret this loss. It has al­ways been a priv­i­lege to name An­dreas as part of Mer­cury and Tsum fam­ily,” Tsum par­ent com­pany Mer­cury Group, Rus­sia’s largest lux­ury group dis­trib­u­tor, said in a state­ment. “As his mother wrote to us, ‘An­dreas re­ally loved his job and the peo­ple he worked with. And also while he was ill one of his big­gest re­grets was that he couldn’t face his pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­ity with the en­gage­ment and pas­sion he al­ways showed.’ An­dreas will al­ways be re­mem­bered as a man of high­est per­sonal and pro­fes­sional qual­i­ties and our thoughts now are with his fam­ily and loved ones.”

“In the last few years we built a deep and hon­est bond that went be­yond our pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship,” said Ric­cardo Sci­utto, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ser­gio Rossi, which is one of the lux­ury brands car­ried by Tsum. “Last year I was in Moscow at the in­cred­i­ble event for the an­niver­sary of Tsum where we cel­e­brated his abil­ity to suc­cess­fully bring his en­ergy and knowl­edge of dis­tri­bu­tion also to Rus­sia. He was al­ways gen­er­ous with his pre­cious ad­vice which he shared with me up un­til a few days ago with the clar­ity of some­one who gen­uinely cares about you.”

“I’m sad­dened by An­dreas Sch­mei­dler’s sud­den pass­ing,” said de­signer Alessan­dro Dell’Ac­qua, whose No. 21 la­bel is among the ones car­ried by the depart­ment store. “He was a for­ward-look­ing man­ager who al­ways sup­ported No. 21 on Tsum’s plat­forms.”

“It is a very sad news even if not un­ex­pected un­for­tu­nately,” said Filippo Cavalli, di­rec­tor of Style Cap­i­tal, which has a stake in the MSGM brand. “We knew that An­dreas was fight­ing this bat­tle since months. We are los­ing a friend, a se­ri­ous and ta­lented pro­fes­sional with a fan­tas­tic hu­man at­ti­tude and the rare ca­pa­bil­ity of never tak­ing him­self too se­ri­ously. We will miss him a lot.”

An­dreas Sch­mei­dler

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