Musical Chairs #1: Who shall succeed Valentino?
Ac.Stet’s thinks Olivier Theyskens, but he is already contracted to Nina Ricci so that would not be an option.
Maybe Alexander McQueen. After his stint at Givenchy, McQueen has been managing his own label and branched out into fragrance (Kingdom) and diffusion lines (McQ) and collaborative collections (Puma, Samsonite). So perhaps with his hands full, the Queen may jolly well not be that suitable also.
Maybe Patrick Robinson. He was trained under Giorgio Armani so could be well-versed in Italian heritage, and later on with Perry Ellis and then Paco Rabanne … but he too, is contracted to Gap. Too mass for Valentino.
Maybe Sophia Kokosolaki. She departed from Madeleine Vionnet because of “creative differences” and may not be “Italian” enough for the House of Valentino.
Maybe Lars Nilssen. He departed from Bill Blass and also later from Nina Ricci. So maybe of his track record, not so good for a venerable, historically-heavy label like Valentino.
Maybe Michael Vlbracht, who recently left Bill Blass. But Volbracht, who is American, may not tread as agile the delicate balancee between Florentine luxury and New World razzmatazz so adroitly mastered by Valentino. Besides, Volbracht, who once said to Ac.Stet at the studio, that he does not believe in the avant garde but “clothes the Park Avenue ladies would wear”. And if Ac.Stet so insist on being so, he should pack his bags for Marc Jacobs. Needless to say, Ac.Stet did. But we digressed.
Maybe Martin Margiela who has been without a house to run since Hermes. But with a new shop schedule to open in Milan during the Spring-Summer 2008 shows, maybe he too, has had his hands tied with his own business.
Maybe Zoran, he of the shapeless hermit-cum-abbot dresses which may remake Valentino into an ersatz Italian Comme des Garcons. But the Italians may not like that. But will Zoran even be interested?
Maybe Azzedine Alaia. But Alaia, who is Tunisian, has never liked the responsibility or the cumbersomeness of managing a big house. But the King of Cling may be just the Thing to Bring the Swing back into the Valentino. But still, highly unlikely.
Maybe Narciso Rodriguez, who lifted the House of Cerruti briefly when he was creative director there before jumpstarting his eponymous line. (He dressed Caroline Bisset for her wedding to John F Kennedy Jr.). He of the financial woes and incredible genius of the cut and master of reduction and ethereal elegance, may just be the panacea to Valentino’s transition into the luxury brand of the Millenium. The noughties has just begun.
Maybe Hedi Slimane. He has been without a house for months since his departure from Dior Homme. For years since his debut at Yves Saint Laurent Pre-Tomford days,the fash set has urged him to seriously considering designing for women. His vision and razor-sharp silhouettes that are immediately femininely-masculine will bring a ground-breaking edge to the softness of the House of Valentino.
Ac.Stet propose either the American Narciso Rodriguez or the Tunisian Hedi Slimane for Valentino.
“Valentino To Step Down”
“Valentino is set to resign later today, WWD has learned. The designer will announce he will do one more ready to wear show and one more couture season, then step down. Valentino’s decision follows his three-day 45th anniversary celebrations in Rome in July.
The designer’s future at the company has been the subject of much speculation over the last year, especially following Permira’s acquisition of Valentino Fashion Group this past spring. Valentino and his business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, have consistently stated over the last year that they would step down when they were ready, although as recently as July the designer was insisting he had no firm plans to do so. ” ———- WWD Sep 4, 2007