The New York Times has revealed that Jeffrey Monteiro is to take over the reins as creative director of Bill Blass. The news could not have come a moment sooner for the label who's future has been held in balance since Peter Som's unpredicted exit in October 2008, following in the footsteps of Lars Nilsson who held the role between 2001 to 2004.
The eponymous label was founded in 1970 by the late Mr Blass, who ran it quite successfully up until 1999, when he retired. He offered luxe and elegant sportswear and clothing, in a plethora of textures, so sumptuous that they had the ability to effortlessly take an outfit from day to night. With an extensive product line consisting of fragrances, home ware, handbags, shoes and couture pieces, Blass built an empire he would have expected and hoped, would have gone from strength to strength following his departure. This was not to be the case, and in November 2008 the fashion house filed for bankruptcy.
What do Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta,Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld all have in common? Their age bracket - they're all gentlemen in their early to late 70s, successfully running multi-billion pound fashion houses. Despite their collective accomplishments and the legions of fans each designer has picked up over the years, the glaringly obvious problem is that whilst they are all at the top of their game (at this moment in time), nothing lasts forever and eventually a time will come when they will have to hand over the reins to a successor.
Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, told Reuters last month that, "Succession is an emotionally charged thing...especially when you talk about people like Armani, who owns the business."
Lars Nilsson has had a tough time over the last couple of years. In 2006 he was replaced at Nina Ricci by Olivier Theyskens. Then in 2008 he was unceremoniously dirched by GianfrancoFerre and just as things were shaping up for him to take over Halston, Marios Schwab pipped him to the post.
His tenacity has however paid off as rumour has it that Nilsson will soon be manufacturing his very own Men's line in collaboration with an Italian tailoring manufacturer. By next spring Nilsson should hopefully be celebrating the launch of the collection at the Pitti Uomo in Florence.