The Italian house of Gianfranco Ferré ( has announced the appointment of Lars Nilsson to the post of creative director, effective immediately. Mr. Nilsson, the former creative director of Nina Ricci in Paris, will be the first outside creative director at the house - established in 1978 - since its founder Gianfranco Ferré passed away this June.

Mr. Nilsson will assume responsibility for all the men’s and women’s clothing and accessories collections. His runway debut will take place in January 2008, with the presentation of the Gianfranco Ferré fall/winter 2008-09 men’s collection followed in February with the women’ s ready to wear.

Lars Nilsson has worked in fashion since leaving his native Sweden at age 18. A graduate of Paris’ Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, Nilsson interned in the tailoring atelier at Chanel Haute Couture before going to Christian Lacroix where he remained for nine years, becoming senior haute couture designer.

From 1997-99 he worked with John Galliano at Dior as coordinator of both the haute couture studio and the fur collections, before moving to New York where he was design director for the Polo Ralph Lauren women’s wear collection. From 2000-03 he was creative director of Bill Blass Collection, before returning to Paris to Nina Ricci where he was creative director from 2003-06.

“Lars Nilsson is a world-class talent fully able to continue the creative development of the brand made immortal by Gianfranco Ferré,” states Tonino Perna, Chairman of Gianfranco Ferré S.p.A. and its parent company IT Holding S.p.A. “His sartorial approach to fashion design, the style he has developed and defined over the years, will prove instrumental in following the path of creative research which has always distinguished the work of Gianfranco Ferré.”

“I’m thrilled and honored to be joining Gianfranco Ferré, a house with a powerful legacy. I feel very inspired by Mr. Ferré’s imprint on fashion and strong architectural sensibility. I look forward to working with the Gianfranco Ferré house to take it to the next level and help cement its standing as an esteemed and globally-recognized luxury company” says Lars Nilsson.