French designer Olivier Lapidus has been appointed artistic director of Paris label Lanvin following his predecessor’s resignation from the troubled fashion house.
“I welcome the arrival of Olivier Lapidus to the artistic direction of Lanvin,” the company’s formidable owner, Taiwanese media magnate Shaw-Lan Wang, announced in a statement on Tuesday.
“His great understanding of the world of this house, the world of fashion and design, and his resolutely modern approach will bring Lanvin to new horizons,” she added.
Lapidus, 59, a prominent figure in high-tech fashion, replaces Bouchra Jarrar, who was appointed artistic director for Lanvin’s women’s collections in March 2016.
Jarrar quit Lanvin only 10 months after she showed her first collection there.
The 46-year-old had closed her own label so she could dedicate herself to reviving France’s oldest fashion house.
But it soon became clear that all was not well within the house, which has been in turmoil since the shock sacking of its previous designer Alber Elbaz in 2015.
In a short statement late Thursday announcing Jarrar’s departure, Lanvin said they had “mutually decided to put an end to their collaboration”.
Lapidus was born into the fashion world: he is the grandson of a Russian emigre tailor, and the son of Ted Lapidus, who made his mark on fashion in the the 1960s and 1970s with his unisex and safari styles.
He was artistic director of Lapidus for 11 years, where he advocated a marriage between haute couture, crafts and industrial research laboratories.
But his new job presents a daunting prospect.
The popular Elbaz had brought Lanvin, founded in 1889, back from the edge of oblivion before he fell foul of Wang.
Wang and Lanvin’s other major shareholder, Swiss businessman Ralph Bartel, plan to recapitalise the company and relaunch the brand, according to the French business magazine Challenges.