‘James Bond’s tailor’ Brioni parts ways with creative chief Justin O’Shea

Australian heavy metal fan who had never designed clothes was seen as uneasy fit with a brand famous for its bespoke suits. Next month’s catwalk show of his autumn/winter collection cancelled

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 11:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 11:01am

The Italian fashion house Brioni, a favourite of US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has parted company with its controversial creative director Justin O’Shea only six months after the Australian was brought in to shake up “James Bond’s tailor”.

The tattooed, shaven-headed heavy metal fan, who had never designed clothes, was seen by many as an uneasy fit with a brand famous for its bespoke suits.

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The Milan-based house had dressed every James Bond from Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye in 1995 to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. But O’Shea wanted to radically change its image, dressing the heavy metal band Metallica in black tuxedos for a major advertising campaign and putting the brand’s logo in Gothic lettering.

He later raised eyebrows with full-length chinchilla coats and said it was “very gangster” to dress a man in a silk shirt. “That’s the kind of guy I want to appeal to.”

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O’Shea’s departure comes a month before he was due to show his 2017 autumn-winter collection in Milan. It will not now be shown on the catwalk, the brand said, but instead presented to buyers.

Chief executive Gianluca Flore said: “The strategy of revitalisation of Brioni that started at the beginning of this year is set to continue... to further establish the brand as a leader in the luxury menswear category.”

Brioni is part of the French-based Kering group owned by billionaire Francois Pinault.