it’s all change again at lanvin as olivier lapidus leaves role as creative director

The divisive Paris-born designer lasted only eight months at France’s oldest fashion brand.

by Steve Salter
22 March 2018, 4:00pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

If you’re struggling to keep up with the goings on at the house that Jeanne-Marie Lanvin built, you’re far from alone. Well, what must Alber Elbaz make of it all? Just eight months after replacing the outgoing creative director Bouchra Jarrar -- who herself only lasted 16 months in the role -- Olivier Lapidus has left Lanvin to concentrate on his own brand, Creation Olivier Lapidus. We’re unsure where this leaves the talk of revamping the brand as “a French Michael Kors” but the current Lanvin design team will now be responsible for the women’s collections until a new hire is announced. Lapidus’s reign lasted two collections, both of which divided opinion. On his debut collection, The Washington Post's Robin Givhan declared that “there is just no excuse for this ugly, boring fashion”, while his last offering drew heavy criticism from respected fashion critic Cathy Horyn, who described the show as “abysmal” and called on the company’s new owners to consider finding new talent in her piece for The Cut. It appears that the Shanghai-based “family-focused multinational company” Fosun International listened.

This move was announced alongside the news that Ms. Joann Cheng, President of Fosun Fashion Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lanvin, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lanvin for an interim period. In her first act, she thanked Lapidus for “steering the Maison through a transitional period between ownerships”. So what’s next for the label? “Lanvin is a truly iconic and storied brand with immense potential,” Ms. Cheng reminded us in her statement. “In seeking candidates for the permanent positions of CEO and Artistic Director, we want to ensure we find people who share the spirit of Lanvin. The re-launch of Lanvin with fresh talents, while adhering to the values that the brand has maintained since 1889, is fundamental to returning the Maison to its rightful position at the top table of the world’s most lauded and innovative fashion houses,” she added.

As the winds of change continue to sweep through the industry, the architecture of some of fashion’s most famous houses is in a state of flux. Stability just isn’t fashionable in 2018.

In the last few weeks alone we’ve seen Hedi Slimane move to Céline, Riccardo Tisci to Burberry and Kim Jones to Dior Homme. Who and what will be next?

alber elbaz
olivier lapidus