It seems Lanvin is facing the curse of losing head-designers after just TWO seasons. This succession business has become tiring and hard to keep up with. And just like another French brand, we honestly think Lanvin’s board of directors might have just shot themselves in the foot..and, of course, we won’t say who because “We’re all feminists” here! However, we would like to take you down memory lane, shall we?
After 14 years at the helm of Lanvin, creative director Alber Elbaz was fired for “lack of creative designs” following his Spring/Summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection in late 2015. Since the show must go on, and as Lanvin’s owner made sure to reassure us “the strategy and vision for the brand [was] clear”…so much so, the design team was hired to create the upcoming collections. So (R)Evolutionary… we wonder where we’ve heard the exact same scenario? Well, that only lasted two seasons (Pre-Fall and Fall/Winter 2016).
As these collections weren’t received well, the clock was ticking for an official replacement of Mr Elbaz. So In May 2016, Bouchra Jarrar was appointed Artistic Director for the brand, giving her just two months to create the Resort collection. And as one could have guessed, after just two ready-to-wear collections, in July 2017 Bouchra resigned, bringing the brand back to square one.
The same month, Olivier Lapidus was named the women’s wear creative director but once again they gave the designer a limited amount of time to come up with a collection. In retrospect, maybe that’s the real issue! Could it be that, maybe, the people in charge of hiring have absolutely no clue of what they’re doing? Alessandro Michele had just 6 weeks to do the same thing and just look at Gucci now…Solid as Ever!
Watching Lanvin’s Fall Winter 2018 Collection, we completely understand why Lapidus is no longer with the brand. The Lanvin aesthetic vanished as the color blocking and the very masculine looks weren’t appropriate. Jeanne Lanvin must be rolling in her grave and Alber Elbaz must be shaking his head. He may have thought of his departure as a “personal tragedy” but fast forwarding to today: one design team and two designers later in such short amount of time, we can all agree that Alber’s departure was Lanvin’s disastrous tragedy!
Although the future of the brand doesn’t look so bright, we want to remain optimistic! Earlier this year, Lanvin was purchased by a Chinese owned company and we’re hoping with the right capital injection, they’ll be able to find someone who understands good marketing and a creative designer who embodies the Lanvin customers! We’re not against new designers, it’s absolutely okay for a new creative to come in and want to spice things up, give the brand a new vision and identity, it just has to be done right! What we want is for the brand to be recognizable regardless of who’s creatively in charge and most importantly it should feel inspiring and exciting. As Mr Elbaz brilliantly said “Without designers, there are not going to be dreams, and without dreams, there is no fashion”
By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre