Brioni fashion label to close women's line

Italian couturier Brioni said Wednesday it was closing down its women's line and ending its contract with designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua to concentrate on its men's collection.

"The decision was necessary to re-focus resources on the menswear business, which has recently become more competitive and global," said the luxury label -- a favourite with stars like Pierce Brosnan, Cary Grant and Al Pacino.

Founded in Rome in 1945, the label had over 300 shops across the world by the 1990s and began expanding successfully into womenswear, signing up the Neapolitan Dell'Acqua in May 2010.

The announcement comes after a month of rumours that Brioni was planning to close down its women's line under pressure from luxury conglomerate PPR, which is in talks to buy the brand.

In its statement, the label denied the move had "any link" with the rumours.