Diane von Furstenburg has finally named her new CEO. The man who will be taking over the fashion house founded by one of the greatest living legends of the fashion design world will be Paolo Riva. It took von Furstenburg two years before she finally found someone suitable enough to take charge of her iconic fashion house.
Riva's official title will be CEO of Diane von Furstenburg Studio, a new position. Prior to his new role at DVF, he was previously vice president, apparel and visual merchandising at Tory Burch for three years. Riva has also previously worked for Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo, so, he will be bringing an impressive list of experiences and skill set to DVF.
“This is a most important decision for me. This is an heir, somebody to take it on for the next decades,” von Furstenberg told WWD. She said she met with a lot of qualified people in Europe and the U.S., and “Barry [Diller, her husband] said to me, ‘You should stop looking for those who are already ceo’s, and you should look for the next superstar.’ That was a magic word.” While von Furstenburg shows no signs of slowing down soon, she realizes it is important to groom the next generation of the fashion elite to rule the fashion empire she has built.
Von Furstenburg usually has a reputation for being the one to take control of the interviews, but, in this case she says that Riva really took charge, and that's what really impressed her. After introducing him to the entire team, who fell in love with him, it was clear that Riva was the man meant to lead DVF into the next era. While Riva is a brilliant businessman and would do wonders if the company went public, von Furstenburg has refused to announce whether or not she wants the brand to go public, simply saying "I want the spirit of the brand to last."
In is new role, Riva will see everyone in the entire company report to him, but, his first and foremost task will be to work on the product mix and retail experience. In regards to his new role, Riva told WWD, "What is special about Diane is that she connects emotionally with women of all generations, all around the world. My vision is to unlock the brand potential by offering the relevant mix of products with a unique experience for the consumer. Only a well-orchestrated team can achieve that, and I look forward to leading that team.”
Riva's top priority will be getting to know his team, because he wants to make sure that everyone is on board and working cohesively to make sure DVF is moving forward toward success. While von Furstenburg would not give any confirmation on the matter, DVF has spent the past several years strengthening its retail and wholesale operations, so, an IPO could be coming soon. With Riva leading the way, DVF could be entering quite the glamorous new era.