viktor & rolf to halt ready-to-wear
The Dutch design duo will produce a final ready-to-wear collection, but it will not be shown at Paris Fashion Week.
In the wake of Jean Paul Gaultier's shocking announcement to shutter his house last season, it was reported today that Dutch design house Viktor & Rolf is closing its ready-to-wear operations following the autumn/winter 2015 season to focus on couture and fragrances. A spokesperson for the avant-garde pair told WWD that the designers will present and sell a final women's ready-to-wear collection, but skip the Paris Fashion Week runway in March.
After meeting at The Netherlands' Arnhem Academy of Art and Design, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren launched their brand in 93, showing their first couture collection in Paris five years later. The pair launched ready-to-wear shortly thereafter in 2000, even collaborating with H&M in 2006 following the smash success of their fragrance Flowerbomb. In 2008, OTB Group—the holding group of Maison Martin Margiela, Marni, and Diesel—purchased a controlling share of the brand.
"We feel a strong need to refocus on our artistic roots. We have always used fashion to communicate, it is our primary means of artistic expression," Horsting told WWD, also mentioning that ready-to-wear "started to feel creatively restricting. By letting go of it, we gain more time and freedom."
Following Jean Paul Gaultier's similar decision to shutter ready-to-wear last season, as well as Meadham Kirchhoff's restructuring in the wake of insurmountable debts, the duo's decision to halt RTW occasions an important conversation about the industry's ever-quickening cycle and its punishing tolls.
Whether cocooning Maggie Rizer in countless layers of clothing for 99's "Russian Doll" collection or even outfitting Patty and Selma Bouvier with personal scaffolding for Harper's hilarious Simpsons fashion feature, Viktor & Rolf are some of the industry's most creative renegades. While we're excited to see what this new found "freedom" could mean for their out-of-the-box couture creations, we're disappointed that the fashion cycle's gruelling pace has resulted in yet another closure.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm