Diane von Furstenberg is on a high. The brand couldn't be performing any better and rumours abound that an IPO might be on the cards and it's because of this success that makes the news its creative director's departure such a surprise. Yvan Mispelaere, who joined the brand in April 2010, confirmed that he is leaving the role just two days after show the brand's S/S13 collection
'I came to DVF to help further the brand's mission and create a world-class design team. I am confident we have been able to achieve that during my time with the company,' he said in a statement. 'I can't thank Diane enough for the opportunity to work with her and such talented people. The group is now well-positioned for even greater success, and I am eager to take on my next challenge.'
Times aren't too bad for Diane von Furstenberg. Forbes recently ranked her as the 33rd most powerful woman in the world, several places higher than Anna Wintour, and business is as good as it always is and by the sounds of things, it's only getting better.
This week WWD ran a piece on the designer's latest hire, top-level executive Joel Horowitz, and rightfully, his appointment as the brand's new co-chairman is a big deal. According to the title, Horowitz was 'one of the architects of Tommy Hilfiger's success' after serving as the CEO of the company for 19 years. Now at DVF, many have begun to speculate that he has plans to take the company public or at least look for big outside investment.
As the picture above shows, when Raf Simons came out to take his bow at the Dior couture show it was a far cry from his final bow at Jil Sander. This time the tears were replaced with a beaming smile and he has every reason to.
Talking to Style.com after the show, he explained that he's tried to change the way people look at couture so that the pieces have longevity rather than being limited to the being seen through the lens of one red carpet moment:
[I am trying] to change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. The way I’ve been looking at it so far is as a still image, something you look at for that moment. I think lots of people see it as a still, an image from the red carpet. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy. A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft.
His approach has paid off. Everyone from Cathy Horyn to Alber Elbaz have produced complimentary reviews of his debut and if the praise for couture is anything to go by, we have a lot to expect for his debut ready-to-wear collection in October.
If there's one word that sums up Diane von Furstenberg's Resort offerings, it's easy, and not in a bad way. Von Furstenberg knows about the art of travelling, especially since she's just come back from a trip in China, and it shows. More than we've seen from her before, the pieces lent themselves to different scenarios, helping to take you from the beach to the bar and from day to evening.
As someone that always packs about 70% more clothes than I actually need, the collection has gone a long way in converting me to pack lightly. The simple but subtly draped bright skirts would work as well walking around the city during your holiday by day and could be instantly jazzed up by teaming it with the rectangular clutch bags that appeared throughout along with a grey jacket that was loose and relaxed but carefully draped around the body.
Multi-functionalism aside, the prints were also a strong point this season. They've always been a signature for the brand but more recently they've felt a lot more playful and experimental. In the collection they appeared in several different carnations and also in mixed and matched block coloured variations, which I'm sure the house’s creative director Yvan Mispelaere had a lot to do with.
The CFDA Awards took place a week ago but the non-profit organisation is still in the headlines. This morning Steven Kolb announced the 26 new members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's board.
Joseph Altuzarra, Jean-Michel Cazabat and Yvan Mispelaere are three of the new additions along with Rachel Zoe. The move is a big one for Zoe. While she has long been recognised for her styling, the appointment signifies her position as a force to be recognised with her brand too.
Kolb also confirmed that Diane von Furstenberg's run as president, which she started back in 2009, has been extended for another two years. 'Diane has done an excellent job as CFDA president,' she said. 'The time and resources she gives and the vision she has created is a huge benefit for our organisation and industry.'
Last night the CFDA Awards, the Oscars of the fashion world, took place and in New York at Alice Tully Hall and the winners are in. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took away the big womenswear designer of the year award for The Row, Joseph Altuzarra won the Swarovski Award for womenswear and Phillip Lim for menswear and Tommy Hilfiger was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Simon Spurr didn't end up winning the menswear designer of the year award, which was just as well considering all of the controversy surrounding his departure from his namesake line.
All eyes may have been on the red carpet at Cannes over the weekend but a big event took place in Las Vegas too last night, as it played host to the 2012 Billboard Music Awards.
While the red carpet looks didn't quite match up to what we saw in Cannes, the looks were actually pretty good. Taylor Swift sported a red Elie Saab gown, Julianne Hough looked incredible in a silver Kaufman Franco creation and Miley Cyrus had everyone talking in this Jean Paul Gaultier double breasted mini dress.
The last seven days have a been a busy one for the fash pack in New York. Earlier on this week Olivier Rousteing hosted a party at Chelsea's Hotel Americano and today everyone is gearing up for the Met Gala but that didn't stop everyone from going out last night too. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Giovanna Battaglia attended Diane von Furstenberg's Meatpacking District studio to celebrate Amanda de Cadenet's new Lifetime series, 'The Conversation'. Outfits at the event were good but it was Amber Heard that stole the show in a strapless Zac Posen red and pink block coloured dress.
After the launch of her first fragrance since 1983 back in June, Diane von Furstenberg confirmed that her cosmetics empire will grow in 2012 but that's not the only thing the designer has been working on. For Spring 2012, she has collaborated with Current/Elliott on a range of vintage inspired denim.
The collection, named DVF Hearts Current/Elliott, sees the signature DVF prints appear on everything from turn-up shorts to a denim version of her classic wrap dress. “I have always wanted to design jeans for women and I think CURRENT/ELLIOTT is the perfect partner,” she said in a release. “Together we have created something timeless.”
Will you pick up anything from the collection when it hits stores this month?
The concern amongst designers that the attention should be on their clothes and not the models - or celebrities as is increasingly the case - is an issue that never goes away. Diane Von Furstenberg has taken it that little step further, though, with her S/S12 Camilla Akrans-shot campaign.
Inspired by surrealist painters, the S/S12 ads shows a model in one of her floral dresses but with the models face covered by a mirror reflecting the sky. Aside from the inspiration, the twist this season was in aid of helping you see yourself wearing the dress. “I like that you can see yourself in these images,” she told WWD. “This time for me is all about new beginnings.”