Today we take a look at some of the executive shifts we’ve seen at a few of Europe’s Tops Fashion Houses. We realized that whether you’re trying to keep up with the trends or keep up with the stock market, the fashion industry is the place to get the inside scoop but, keeping up recently has been harder than it ever has.
As we all make changes to move forward to grow into our new spring chapters (or prepare our beach bodies, ugh), the same thing is happening behind the very fashionable closed doors of Dior, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent.
Good thing you have us here to tell you who went where, why the moves are being made, and just how the hell this impacts what we’ll all be wearing in the coming seasons.
Out: Raf Simons
Simons moved over from Dior to Calvin Klein as its new chief creative officer, after deciding not to renew his contract with the fashion house. Although being in creative control for Dior since 2012 and creating the modern romanticism the brand is now known for, there is seemingly no rift between brand and designer; he simply needed a change of pace. This left an opening for Dior to pick up its first female Creative Director in decades, Maria Grazia Chiuri. She debuted as their new CD with this year’s Spring 2017 collection. She brought the show’s viewers out of the bustling of Paris and into a garden labyrinth overgrown with fantasy. The collection featured winner’s gowns in monochromatic earthy tones, blacks, and whites with pops of whimsical details such as feathers, lace, and floral-inspired accessories. Chirui created a full experience leaving viewers in a trance. Saying of her designs and inspiration, “I don’t want to lose the idea of dreaming.
Out: Alexander Wang
In: Demna Gvasalia
Although this is an example that made top fashion headlines in 2015, this case is a good way to show why people are moving around so much more often than they have in the past and how short term designers are choosing to stay with one house. Alexander Wang took over after his predecessor, Nicolas Ghesquiere, left after having the top creative position for more than a decade. The appointment at the time in 2012 also made headlines for seeming like a drastic change for the French luxury brand to hire a young designer known for his street style aesthetic. After three great years, what is appearing to become a standard length for a designer at a high fashion brand, Wang stepped down as Creative Director. Although the parent brand to Balenciaga has made comments to the effect of Wang not creating blockbuster looks, Alexander Wang has said the move was for him to be able to focus on his own designs and label. Demna Gvasalia, however, has not disappointed since his appointment to the position. Coming from a similar background of urban style design as Wang, Gvasalia has been considered revolutionary even before his start with Balenciaga. Aspiring to bring the next generation in beauty to the classic style Cristobal Balenciaga created, Demna asserts, “I wouldn’t say I’m trying to channel Mr. Balenciaga in any way, but I’m trying to understand how he saw women.”
Out: Hedi Silmane
Another designer with a 3-year stint with their brand, Hedi Silmane joined Saint Laurent in 2012 and managed to leave his edgy chic mark quickly dropping the “Yves.” He forever changed the brand by creating the sexy, strong Saint Laurent Woman we all strive to be. After Silmane’s leave from Saint Laurent in 2016, it was clear the industry was entering into a faster pace, where trends are changing before the end of a season and designers are jumping houses after fewer and fewer seasons. In Silmane’s Rockstar wake comes Anthony Vaccarello, who also came with the intention and determination to redefine femininity. In his debut collection, Vaccarello also displayed his take on the Saint Laurent Woman, historically strong and ironically sexy. He made a statement by mixing familiar faces of the brand’s past shows with fresh new talent on the runway. In his Spring 2017 show, he created an edgy, powerful woman and made a statement of women taking back their bodies and sexuality by having models bare it all down the runway in impossibly sexy yet tasteful designs.
Out: Frida Giannini
Another brand making a bold move in 2017 is Gucci, it was shocking enough when the house asked their CEO and creative director, Giannini, to leave but then to have the billion dollar luxury company pull an unknown designer up the ranks from their accessories department left many in the industry confused and concerned. Although it may have been a messy ending for di Marco and Giannini, Michele was given the opportunity to show his talent and work ethic and did so with flying colors, and jewel tones and florals to be exact. Alessandro pulled together his debut for Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 2015 menswear show in less than a week, showing impressive talent in his androgynous designs. His womenswear was a subject of debate that season showcasing a flowy loose silhouette that was much different from the designs of Giannini people were used to seeing. Things were starting to be viewed as stale, and the breath of fresh air that is Michele was well received by industry professionals and loyal shoppers to the brand alike. This translated over to the bank as well as Gucci sales jumped 13% in one-quarter, displaying Alessandro knowledge and ability to bring high fashion to today’s buyers.
As you see trends are so much more than what your adorning yourself within the fashion industry, it has to do with the fast pace of trickle down style, redefining a brand, with new faces on the runway and new blood within the House itself. So if you’re stressing over which designers to look to for inspiration for your closet’s spring fashion switch (Valentino and Dior…in case you were asking my opinion), take a look even deeper into what’s trending in the fabulous world of fashion, you’ll see younger designers and shorter contracts producing a mix match of Creative Designers from house to house and year to year. This stimulation to the design process of the industry is sure to provide more revolutionary collections yet, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to go with that McQueen bag (who am I kidding, McQueen goes with everything).
Written by: Kit Royce