After the surprise announcement that Bouchra Jarrar would be leaving Lanvin after just 16 months, the brand wasted no time appointing a successor. Olivier Lapidus will be stepping in as artistic director – here’s what we know so far.
#1: Lapidus was creative director of Balmain Homme from 1985-1986, before joining his father’s label, Maison Lapidus, where he worked until its closure in 2000. He then worked on capsule collections, designed hotel decor, and launched an “e-couture” house, Creation Olivier Lapidus.
#2: Lapidus’s father, Ted Lapidus, was a celebrated French designer who created the ubiquitous safari suit in the 1970s, and also designed clothing for The Beatles, Brigitte Bardot, and Twiggy.
#3: Lapidus met his Lebanese wife, Yara, while she was interning at Maison Lapidus. The couple have two daughters.
#4: Lanvin is rumored to want to revamp itself as “a French Michael Kors” – something Lapidus seems well-placed to execute, having been quoted as being interested in creating a lifestyle brand.
#5: The brand will be moving from its long-standing headquarters in Boissy d’Anglas – where founder Jeanne Lanvin had her atelier – to the suburban Levallois area a few kilometers from the center of Paris. This is the latest move in the company’s quest to cut down costs.
After the acrimonious exit of Alber Elbaz in 2015, he spoke out about a “lack of articulated strategy and investment,” according to The New York Times, who also subsequently quoted Jarrar as saying she feels “pressure.” Lanvin’s Taiwan-based Chinese controlling shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang, is reportedly reluctant to invest in the brand, which some suspect led to a dramatic 23% fall in revenue last year and which could be the reason for the possible move from a primarily ready-to-wear brand to lifestyle. Is this the end of an era?