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2009 May 7

Theyskens to Halston? Don't Get Too Excited...

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(NEW YORK) Pierre Rougier is a man of action. Even as the PR Consulting honcho manages the Jack McCullough/Kiefer Sutherland headbutting debacle, his firm has announced that it has landed the Nina Ricci account, which owner Puig had formerly been handling in-house. (Fun fact: Rougier was spotted at front-row at the Nina Ricci show in Paris in February--and so was his competitor Ed Filipowski of KCD.) Kate Etter, the former director of public relations at Nina Ricci who left Puig in conjunction with designer Olivier Theyskens' departure last fall, will once again oversee the account in her new role at PR Consulting. Ricci's new creative director Peter Copping is expected to present his first collection in Paris this September.

In related news, The Daily has learned that Halston has no immediate plans to hire Olivier Theyskens, following reports that longtime supporter Anna Wintour has been petitioning Halston honchos Harvey Weinstein and Tamara Mellon to appoint him creative director at the house. "Olivier [as creative director at Halston] will never, ever happen," says a well-placed insider with knowledge of Halston's international search for a new creative director. "It's no secret that [the brand] is struggling--they need a designer who can sell lots and lots of clothes, not just get great press." Although Theyskens is almost universally lauded as an exceptionally gifted designer, his highly-priced collections and elaborate runway presentations have often led to decreased profitability at houses he has helmed like Nina Ricci and Rochas.

So far, Halston has allegedly approached several European designers, but none have been ripe for the challenge given the ousting of Marco Zanini in the summer of 2008. Zanini only designed one season at Halston, but he has since landed at Rochas, where his first collection was presented in Paris this February to great critical acclaim.
ASHLEY BAKER



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