Claudio Buziol, the founder of famous Italian denim brands Replay and We Are Replay, unexpectedly died yesterday at the age of 47. Initial reports indicate that the cause of his death was probably a heart attack.

Buziol’s untimely departure leaves a blank in the international jeanswear, sportswear and fashion world. Inventive denim artisan, fashion-minded creative and lively active entrepreneur - he was all this.

During his career, he quickly built his group Fashion Box – which includes Replay, We Are Replay and kidswear line Replay & Sons (which is produced through the Fashion Toys company) – and started a series of other successful business initiatives, including about 35 company holdings and sub-holdings.

Buziol began in the fashion business in the 1970s at the legendary Genius group with Renzo Rosso and Adriano Goldschmied. In 1978 he registered his own brand, Replay. Its umbrella company, Fashion Box, of which Buziol owned a 90% stake, was founded in 1981.

Achieving a turnover of 230 million euro in 2004 and expecting turnover of about 300 million euro for the end of 2005, Buziol wanted to relaunch his brands in the US markets by redesigning the Replay store in New York and opening a new shop in Miami later this year. He was also focusing on a higher-end jeanswear product and market niche.

–– Maria Cristina Pavarini, Senior Features Editor

Sadly struck by such an abrupt departure, Sportswear International wants to thank you, Claudio, for what you did for fashion and jeanswear and especially thank you for your sincere friendship and your enthusiasm in enjoying life. A dear and heartfelt goodbye from the whole Sportswear team, in particular Klaus Hang, Maria Cristina Pavarini, Michaela Schmidinger and Laura Pianazza.