Walter Albini to be re-launched after 40 years by Bidayat

Swiss-based investment group Bidayat will be relaunching luxury Italian brand Walter Albini after nearly 40 years.

Last week, the group updated its website portfolio to include Walter Albini and announced that they had acquired the Italian designer's archives, and plan to relaunch the luxury brand globally. Barbara Curti (whose mother, Marisa Curti previously owned and collected the Walter Albini archive contents) will continue to act as an archive curator and advisor to Bidayat.

Established in Spring 2021, Bidayat is part of the Alsara Investment Group, founded by former Egyptian minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who is also the CEO of Qatari investment fund Mayhoola. It invests in early-stage brands in fashion, accessories, jewelry, beauty and lifestyle from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Bidayat's investment portfolio includes Egyptian luxury handbag brand Okhtein, jewelry house Azza Fahmy, and furniture design platform Fromm.

'Bidayat has acquired the intellectual property and a substantial part of the archives of Walter Albini. We are teaming up with various museums, cultural institutions, curators, publishers, media partners and luxury advisors to create awareness and recognition about the legacy of Walter Albini and his transformative impact on the fashion industry,' the firm said in a statement.

'We are honored to have unearthed this hidden jewel of Italian high fashion and are currently studying Walter Albini's vast heritage to set the foundations for the future of the eponymous brand. Walter Albini deserves to claim its rightful place amongst the top luxury brands on the global stage. Our challenge will be finding the right calibre of leadership team to bring alive our vision and ambition,' Rachid stated.

'I am delighted to join forces with Bidayat to continue to look after and build on Walter Albini's powerful archive. I am looking forward to having many more generations be inspired by this incredibly talented designer, whose drive for perfection changed the entire Italian fashion ecosystem,' Barbara Curti said.

Walter Albini was one of the pioneers of Italy's ready-to-wear industry and gained fame between the mid '60s to early '80s for his avantgarde and innovative approach to fashion. His untimely death in 1983 at the age of 42 was a blow to the fashion industry and his name and brand were largely forgotten thereafter. His unique creations and transformational impact on the fashion industry continue to inspire some of the world's most sought-after designers and artistic talents today.

The return of Albini's namesake label is interesting not just because of it's revival under a new owner but because all eyes are now on who will be its creative director. There is media speculation that Bidayat may have found its leading man in former creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele. However the company has declined to comment on unconfirmed media reports.

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