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Former Gucci Group boss joins North Sails

International sailmaker and sportswear brand North Sails has appointed former Gucci Group president and chief executive officer Robert Polet as a partner of its apparel division, effective immediately.

Polet, currently chairman of the board at Italian eyewear company Safilo Group, joins former Scotch & Soda chief executive Eric Bijlsma, who became a major shareholder and chief executive of North Sails Apparel following a merger in October 2014 of all its related companies. 

Commenting on the move, Bijlsma said: “The truth is that [Polet] will be a perfect coach to guide me through Italian culture. North Sails Apparel has a large presence in Italy in terms of market share, as well as in product development and production. Robert is a true brand architect, which is a huge asset for us at this stage.”

Bijlsma and Polet will both be present when North Sails debuts three new menswear lines at Pitti Uomo this week between January 13-16.

Polet stepped down from his role at Gucci Group in 2011 as part of a reorganisation of the business and was not replaced. During his time with the fashion company, he developed brands such as Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. Prior to that he spent 26 years at the Unilever Group in various executive roles.

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