2012 August 28
Vionnet Collaboration Interruption
Billy Farrell Agency View Gallery
(NEW YORK) Despite a relatively robust performance at retail stores such as Barneys New York and Net-A-Porter, the relaunch of Vionnet hit yet another roadblock. On Tuesday, Vionnet issued a statement that creative directors Barbara and Lucia Croce "have, currently, interrupted their collaboration." The Spring 2013 collection will be completed by an in-house design team and will be shown in Paris on September 28 as previously scheduled.
Vionnet, which was founded in Paris in 1912 by the Madeleine Vionnet but closed down during World War II, was relanched in 2006 under the ownership of Arnaud de Lummen. Twenty years prior, De Lummen's father bought the rights to Vionnet but waited until De Lummen was an ambitious Harvard-trained lawyer to become ceo. Sophia Kokosalaki, a Greek designer who was most recently the creative director at Diesel, was Vionnet's creative director from 2006 to 2007. She was replaced by Marc Audibet, who joined in May 2007 after having held previous positions at Ferragamo, Trussardi, Hermes and Prada. The Croce sisters' predecessor, Rodolfo Paglialunga, designed 10 collections for Vionnet before leaving to pursue “other personal and professional paths".
The Croce sisters, came to Vionnet after Barbara previously worked at Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, while her sister Lucia has worked at Valentino, Neil Barrett and Ter et Bantine. Presumably, owner Goga Ashkenazi of Go to Enterprise Sarl, is searching for stronger performance at retail and a designer who can deliver the goods. How about Vanessa Seward, who departed Azzaro for a lifestyle change after nine years of critically-acclaimed eveningwear? Her less-dressy sensibility has now been market-tested, with a bestselling APC capsule collection to prove it.
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