Davide Renne, the Italian fashion designer and former Gucci womenswear director, died on Friday in Milan, Italy, nine days after becoming creative director of Moschino. He was 46 years old.
His death was confirmed by Aeffe, Moschino’s parent group. He apparently died of a heart attack after a brief hospitalization, according to people with knowledge of his condition.
“There are no words to describe the pain we are experiencing at this dramatic moment,” Massimo Ferretti, president of Aeffe, said in a statement.
Renne, who was born in Tuscany, began his career at Alessandro Dell’Acqua and had been at Gucci for 20 years before announcing last month his new role at Moschino. He had been working on a debut collection that would have been shown at Milan Fashion Week in February. Much-loved figure in Italian fashion and right-hand man of former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele (both were hired by Tom Ford), he had spoken of his excitement at having been assigned a “dream role” at the helm of one of the best-known names. of Italian fashion.
“Davide was one of the most talented and vital people I ever met in my life,” Michele said. “And he was the one who, when everything seemed hopeless, like now, would make jokes, smile and try to make everyone happy. Nothing would have been possible during the years I was at Gucci without him. But he was ready to show the world who he was.”
Moschino was founded in 1983 by Franco Moschino, known for both his quirky, wry sense of humor and his innovative approach to design. It’s a legacy that his successors have continued, and one that Renne seemed keen to explore. He succeeds American designer Jeremy Scott, who left the brand last March.
Michele said Renne, who was so knowledgeable about fashion history that he could name almost every garment Yves Saint Laurent had created and who had worn them, had been interviewed for several creative director positions in recent years. “Everyone in this world knew who he was,” Michele said. But it wasn’t until Michele left Gucci that Renne decided to expand on his account.
The Saturday before Renne’s death, Michele had dinner with him and Renne, he said, “was sharing all his ideas about his next show. I know what he was thinking of doing. He was starting to become a little obsessed with Franco, with the symbols of the brand. He was very excited to relive it.”
“Franco Moschino had a nickname for his design studio: the sala giochi, the games room,” Renne said at the time of his appointment. “This resonates deeply with me: what fashion – especially Italian fashion, and the house of Moschino above all – can achieve with its enormous power, must be achieved with a sense of play, of joy. Thank you for giving me the keys to the game room. “I can’t wait to get started.”