WWD Digital Daily
Riccardo Sciutto Exits Sergio Rossi, Paul Kotrba Named Interim CEO
● Kotrba was most recently chief operating officer at Wolford, which, like Sergio Rossi, is controlled by Lanvin Group.
MILAN — Italian luxury footwear brand Sergio Rossi has named Paul Kotrba interim chief executive officer, succeeding Riccardo Sciutto.
Kotrba was most recently chief operating officer at Wolford, which, like Sergio Rossi, is controlled by Lanvin Group, where he streamlined IT and operations, initiated a companywide restructuring, and defined a roadmap to reach profitability this year.
Prior to Wolford, the Austrian national was CEO of Seafolly, the largest premium swimwear brand from Australia that is controlled by L Catterton, and, before that, was responsible for global sales and business development for over 15 years at Donna Karan and DKNY in New York.
Kotrba described this as “an exciting time” in Sergio Rossi's development. “I look forward to growing the business and brand presence globally, further elevating the quality of our distribution and engaging with customers to ensure they discover the rich heritage and exceptional quality of our truly authentic Italian luxury footwear brand.”
He is tasked with leading Sergio Rossi's global retail and wholesale expansion strategies as well as guiding e-commerce developments into new markets, to further strengthen the brand's leadership position in Japan and support the fast-growing brand presence in Greater China.
Sciutto joined Sergio Rossi in February 2016 from Hogan, and has seen his share of changes at the company. He arrived shortly after European investment house Investindustrial took control of Sergio Rossi in December 2015 from its previous owner, Kering. Fosun Group took control of the company in the summer of 2021; the parent company was renamed Lanvin Group in October that year in advance of its initial public offering in New York. In addition to Wolford and Sergio Rossi, the group comprises the Lanvin, St. John and Caruso brands.
Sciutto spearheaded a reorganization of Sergio Rossi's structure, manufacturing, and distribution and its digital transformation, as Asia became the brand's main market, driven by Japan and China. He modernized its manufacturing plant in Italy's San Mauro Pascoli, a key footwear district in the country, repositioned the brand and gave a precise identity to the product in sync with that of its namesake late founder. Sciutto has always been proud of the work he has done on Sergio Rossi's archive of more than 7,000 pairs of shoes.
In January last year, Sciutto recruited from the digital creative realm Evangelie Smyrniotaki, best known online as Style Heroine, naming her artistic director, overseeing the brand image and identity.
In December 2021, the footwear brand was revealed as among the tenants of Milan's Spiga 26 real estate project, which bowed last year, a move in sync with the new owner's commitment to invest in store openings. Sergio Rossi has a worldwide distribution network of 63 stores.
Lanvin Group debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in December, and posted a 37 percent increase in revenues for 2022, when the top line tallied 422 million euros and was boosted by the acquisition of Sergio Rossi.
As reported, Sergio Rossi's sales last year amounted to 61.9 million euros.