MILAN – Alsara Investment Group has appointed Andrea Fornasier as Group PR and communication director. This is a new position at Alsara, founded by Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who also holds the position of chairman.
Fornasier reports to CEO Shahzad Akhtar, overseeing the PR network and press activities of the brands in the group’s portfolio.
These include brands Akoni, which produces eyewear for Valentino and Balmain; cool Italian label Khrisjoy; investor Bidayat; design venture Fromm; jewelry brand Azza Fahmy and Egypt-based handbags label Okhtein. Alsara is also gearing up to revive the Walter Albini brand, one of the founders of Italy’s ready-to-wear.
Fornasier, aged 42 and based in Milan, matured a significant knowledge in media relations and PR for lifestyle and fashion brands as PR Director at ES_PR, communications agency founded by Emanuela Schmeidler.
Akhtar was named group chief executive officer of Alsara Strategic Investments last July, a new position at the company, pointing to an increased focus on brand building and merger and acquisition activities.
Alsara Investment Group is an international private investment company based in Switzerland. In 2021 it bought a majority stake in Italian brand Khrisjoy with a view to expanding its global reach, product offer and digital capabilities. Positioned in the luxury range of the market and made in Italy, the brand has garnered a cult following with its Khris cocooning hooded puffer jacket.
Rachid is also the chairman of Valentino and CEO of the brand’s parent company Mayhoola, which also owns Balmain and Italian men’s wear brand Pal Zileri. Earlier in his career, he served as Egypt’s minister of trade, industry and investment, and was an executive at Unilever.
As reported, Cairo-based jeweler Azza Fahmy is planning an upscaling and international expansion drive — including an eventual push into the U.S. — following an investment from Bidayat, a subsidiary of the Alsara Investment Group.
10 Corso Como founder Carla Sozzani is working on an exhibition dedicated to Albini, who died in 1983, and former Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele was rumored to be preparing to helm the brand, but this has never been confirmed or denied.