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Gucci America’s Top Lawyer Jumps to Apparel Startup CreateMe

Nov. 26, 2021, 11:00 AM

Gucci America Inc. may be in the market for a new top lawyer as a star-studded film depicting the Italian family that built the fashion brand was released in the U.S. this week.

Brooke Crescenti, who spent nearly a decade in-house at Gucci America, confirmed via email that she left the company’s general counsel role in early September. Crescenti has since taken the same position at CreateMe Technologies LLC, a New York-based apparel startup.

Gucci America didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether Crescenti has been replaced. Its corporate parent, French luxury goods giant Kering SA, also did not respond to a comment request.

Crescenti, a former corporate associate at Herrick, Feinstein in New York, joined Gucci America in 2012. The company named her its director of legal affairs in 2017. Crescenti held that role until she was promoted in January to succeed former Gucci America general counsel and vice president of corporate affairs Nicole Marra.

Marra left Gucci America that same month after 11 years at the company. She’s now a founder and CEO of the Fixer Advisory Group LLC, a fashion consulting firm. Marra didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Crescenti hasn’t yet hired any new lawyers at CreateMe, which was founded in 2018 and has a research and development lab in San Francisco. She works alongside former Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. patent counsel Rambod Nader, who joined CreateMe last year as a senior director of intellectual property.

Crescenti said she wasn’t sure whether Gucci America has picked anyone to succeed her as general counsel, although she acknowledged she’ll “absolutely be watching ‘House of Gucci’—I think everyone will be!”

The movie, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, is based on a 2001 book by Bloomberg News’ Sara Forden about the Italian fashion house. It details the life and death of late Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci.

Gucci, founded a century ago by its namesake Guccio Gucci, is headquartered in Florence, Italy. The storied fashion brand has experienced a revival in recent years under the control of Kering, a Paris-based company that also owns the fashion labels Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Bloomberg News reported last month on Kering’s share price falling due to slowing sales at Gucci, which generates more than half of the company’s revenue. Kering legal director Eric Sandrin and Ewa Abrams, general counsel of Kering Americas, didn’t respond to requests for comment about Gucci America.

The in-house legal teams at Kering and Gucci America work closely together.

In 2011, former Kering tax attorney Josephine Robinson filed a discrimination lawsuit against Gucci America, alleging that the company and its leadership—some of whom unsuccessfully sought to dismiss the case—had a “high tolerance for racism” and sought to underpay pop star Rihanna on a contract. Court filings show that Robinson’s case was settled on undisclosed terms after mediation in 2013.

Kering Americas hired Davis Wright Tremaine employment services counsel Scott Cooper over the summer as a senior employment counsel in New York. Gucci America, for its part, also recently recruited Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu associate Sydney Kipen as an IP counsel and Kasowitz Benson Torres associate Peter Seltzer as an employment counsel. Both lawyers are based in New York.

Gucci’s global general counsel and executive vice president for corporate affairs and sustainability is Antonella Centra, who was hired in 2015. Centra, a former lawyer at a predecessor of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, has worked at Bottega Veneta, the Coca-Cola Co., Prada SpA, and International Business Machines Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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