The last few months have been a roller coaster for Christian Lacroix. After filing for bankruptcy in May, the iconic couture house has gone through highs and lows as potential buyers have come and gone. The fashion world watched with baited breath, but all the waiting came to an end yesterday as a French court approved a plan to turn Lacroix solely into a licensing operation.
The Falic Group, which owns the majority share in the label after buying it up in 2005, will now take control, cutting the workforce by 100 to only a dozen. This means Lacroix will be unable to continue its high-end fashion and retail operations. Christian himself, who found the luxurious brand over two decades ago, is devastated at the decision, fuming:
'This is the most awful decision possible and I’m speechless with anger. I’ll do my best to find a way of battling. But it seems no one is interested in the future of Lacroix in such a cynical world where the word "fashion" doesn’t have the same meaning as mine. My duty has to be struggling against the Falics… against this decision and against the state, who did nothing in fact.'
We had our fingers crossed back in October that the mega-wealthy Sheikh Al Hassan bin Ali Al-Nuami would save Lacroix when he divulged his plans to take the brand in an even more extreme luxury direction (remember our dreams of the Lacroix yacht sails and jets? *sob*). But in the end he couldn’t give a financial guarantee by the deadline imposed by the court, and joined the group of other potential suitors in the same position or who had pulled out at earlier stages.
Decadent, beautiful and down-right regal, Christian Lacroix’s designs have always wowed audiences (we’re still reeling from the Priestess ensemble with its almost Catholic extravagance that he showed at their couture show earlier this year…). And fellow-couture designer Alexis Mabille said yesterday: 'I hope someone will come forward. Otherwise it will be the end of this incredible know-how. Christian has a style that is totally unique. No one else has this mixture of the delicate and the spectacular, this kind of sensibility. French couture owes him a lot.'
But speculation that Lacroix’s designs are out-of-date, combined with the influence of a recession, seem to have now hit home. While Christian Lacroix operations start to wind down (before the long-awaited
'I am working on finding a solution for the company,' he says. 'Everything is still possible.' It’s so sad to see another label lost to the current climate, so let’s hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Lacroix. We’ll keep you up-to-speed with any new developments. [WWD] [The Guardian]
- Alex Davies