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#CNILux Goga Ashkenazi on Reviving Vionnet

The Chairwoman and Creative Director of the famed Parisian house explains its reinvention

Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

Goga Ashkenazi, Chairwoman and Creative Director of Vionnet, in conversation with Suzy Menkes at the third Condé Nast International Conference in Oman. Photo:

For Goga Ashkenazi, taking the reins of the fabled fashion house Vionnet in 2012 fulfilled a childhood dream. But, as the businesswoman told Suzy Menkes on the first day of the CNI Luxury Conference, adopting the house came was not all plain sailing.

“Every day was a challenge at first, because it is a huge responsibility carrying a heritage brand like Vionnet … I certainly was not prepared for every challenge I had to face, but that’s the beauty of taking a risk like that – you have to react to things that come up. Not having much support at the beginning, being an outsider to the fashion world, and approaching it in a different way, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned from them and I know what Vionnet means today: craftsmanship, elegance and creating fashion that is timeless – mindful fashion.”

“It’s a huge challenge to be a female in the fashion industry”

Another ongoing challenge is the industry’s gender divide, one in which the house has an important role, Ashkenazi says. “It’s a huge challenge to be a female in the fashion industry and in other industries … Most powerful people are male. For women in fashion, whether we like it or not, we are the minority … There comes an understanding from being a woman that is not open to all of the men. There is the importance that Madame Vionnet was a woman, and there is the importance that I am a woman.”

Now that she has established her position in the driving seat, she is clear about the direction she wants the house to take. “I don’t want to make a short-lived brand that is going to have a heyday,” she smiled. “I am trying to continue the culture that Madame Vionnet established in 1912 when she started her brand.”

See what Amal Al Raisi had to say at the CNI Luxury Conference

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