Look­ing ahead

> Trou­bled fash­ion la­bel Lan­vin to get a makeover

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FASHION -

TROU­BLED French fash­ion house Lan­vin is to be re­launched be­fore the end of the year, with plans to ex­pand into ac­ces­sories and other lux­ury goods, the la­bel told AFP on Tues­day.

The old­est Paris cou­ture house, which has been in tur­moil since the shock sack­ing of pop­u­lar de­signer Al­ber El­baz two years ago, said its owner, the Taiwanese me­dia mag­nate Shaw-Lan Wang, who will fund the turn­around with a fresh cash in­jec­tion.

The news comes amid re­newed spec­u­la­tion about the fu­ture of the la­bel, which sank into the red to the tune of US$21.2 mil­lion last year, its first loss for a decade.

But its new de­signer Olivier Lapidus – who re­placed Bouchra Jar­rar in July af­ter only 10 months at the helm – told AFP that he was help­ing to pre­pare a ma­jor shift for the brand, which was founded in 1889.

“Madame Wang very much be­lieves in the la­bel,” said Lapidus, who had only a month to put to­gether his first women’s col­lec­tion for Paris fash­ion week in Septem­ber.

He said he wanted to strengthen the ven­er­a­ble la­bel’s haute cou­ture line and ex­pand into lux­ury lifestyle prod­ucts and dec­o­ra­tion, while also beef­ing up its ac­ces­sory lines.

“We are not at all wor­ried about pay­ing the bills,” its fi­nance chief Nicolas Druz told AFP.

“The com­pany has not a penny of debt. Our ma­jor share­holder has de­cided to put her hand in her pocket” to help re­launch the brand, he said.


“We want to bring the house into the mod­ern era, and de­velop a high-tech, lifestyle ‘art de vivre’ side to the business,” Druz added, float­ing the idea of Lan­vin-linked ho­tels and spas as well as an ex­panded ac­ces­sory range.

Druz paid trib­ute to Lapidus for the “mir­a­cle” of man­ag­ing to turn around a col­lec­tion “in Au­gust in France”, when most of the coun­try tra­di­tion­ally heads to the beaches.

The col­lec­tion had a mixed re­cep­tion when it hit the run­ways, but Lapidus said he was cheered by the warm re­ac­tion of Vogue and Elle mag­a­zines.

“It was not a very pro­found col­lec­tion. Un­for­tu­nately we had very lit­tle time to do it in, but we have some in­cred­i­bly tal­ented peo­ple in our studios and work­shops, and I will stay and sup­port this la­bel to the death if I have to,” he said.

“I am not about to aban­don ship, far from it.”

Jar­rar’s two col­lec­tions for the la­bel were warmly re­ceived by crit­ics for their “sober el­e­gance”, but with morale low in the brand’s work­shop amid an ex­o­dus of tal­ent af­ter El­baz’s de­par­ture, ru­mours that she was iso­lated and fric­tion over bud­get cuts, her exit was not un­ex­pected.

In March, she had hinted that she was not get­ting the sup­port that she needed to turn the la­bel around. – AFP Re­laxnews

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