How are you doing? A couple of days ago I was going to bed when I got a notification from Business of Fashion. “Kim Jones to leave Louis Vuitton” – said the headline. So I opened it and started reading. There was not much that time cause the article was still updating but there was one thought that caught my attention which said that he might be headed to Burberry. This got me thinking about the previous artistic/creative directors who have left established fashion houses for another one.
The question is why I started to think about this? Not long ago in the 90’s and 00’s, designers were appointed as artistic directors after they graduated from universities or designing lesser-known labels. The strategy was, especially if you look at LVMH, to give an own brand to the designer while he/she is the creative lead of a known brand. If you think about John Galliano or Gianfranco Ferre this applies perfectly. However, nowadays it seems like there is a massive chaos when it comes to appointing these creative professionals. When Maria Grazia Chiuri left Valentino to go and design for Dior, it caused a lot of confusion. Also the same applies to Raf Simons because he left Dior for Calvin Klein or Anthony Vaccarello departing from Versus Versace to be the lead at YSL. Just writing this down looks funny.
So where the issue is that I don’t think consumers react the same way. Especially if you think about their age. We as the twenty-something-year-olds do not really care about who is the creative director just give us that new Gucci shirt or the new capsule collection from Balenciaga, but we don’t have to go far in terms of age to see a different reaction. My friends who are in their thirties and up always voice their opinions how they think the brand is not even important anymore. “We live in the era when the designer is more important than the brand. When I look at a dress, I can’t tell you anymore if it is by Dior or Valentino, but I can say that it was designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri.” – they say
I think it is good to bring new energies and new talent into a business when there is the need, but I have to be honest, the statements from the unsatisfied consumer do carry some truths as well because if you think about it, is there any similarity between Calvin Klein and Dior? I don’t think so, Calvin Klein is a US brand and the latter is French, so basically we are talking about two different fashion worlds, and when the debut collections hit the runway, we along with journalists and other media people are left with a new new collection and we immediately start to search for similarities between previous collections or cuts, styles that carry the heritage of the company trying to justify why he/she will be great for the brand and after we found those answers, we stick to them no matter what the other thinks.
Anyways, I am mostly satisfied with these collections but if this is an opinion voiced by a whole demographic of consumers and not just my friends, maybe it is the time that fashion houses try and figure out something that works for everyone. After all, you can sell more bags. What is your opinion about this? Do you even follow these happenings or this is too much of an insider topic?
See you soon,