News & Scoops

2009 March 4

A New Reign at Rochas

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First looks at the Rochas Fall/Winter 2009 collection, designed by Marco Zanini First looks at the Rochas Fall/Winter 2009 collection, designed by Marco Zanini
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(PARIS) Just a few hours before the former Rochas creative head Olivier Theyskens took what was assumed to be his final bow at Nina Ricci, Marco Zanini launched a formidable new beginning at the venerable French house. The Italian designer, a protégé of Donatella Versace who was most recently at Halston, showcased his Fall effort in a low-key presentation in a le Marais gallery space that was many months in the making. (The Daily broke news of his appointment in October.) “For an introduction of the line I wanted an interesting and intimate presentation, not the bling bling on the runway,” he said earlier today.

“Maison Rochas is above all a luxury brand,” Zanini continued. “And for me, ultimate luxury is those key pieces that are low-key, quiet--pieces that will last and be cherished. So there’s a very conscious focus on the workmanship to enhance an overall experience of each garment. I wanted the construction and execution of this collection to be basically flawless. My personal goal is to establish Rochas as a very solid house that really doesn’t compromise the quality and luxury of women’s clothing.”

And those pieces included cleverly executed coats, hand-embellished dresses, silk separates, and an impressive array of bags and shoes in luxe crocodile. “We thought of accessories not as seasonal toys that you wear and throw out,” Zanini proclaimed. “Of course, these are fashion statements, but you want to wear them again and again.”

Given the recent trend of large houses recycling designers after merely one or two seasons, The Daily wondered if Zanini was at all hesitant to assume such a high-profile post. “It's part of the game,” said the designer cautiously. “But you have to play to win. And throw yourself with passion and devotion. Right now I’m going back and forth between Florence and Paris nearly every week. But the creativity doesn’t have a passport. It’s all part of the challenge.”

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