Weeks after the initial feeding/betting frenzy over the successor to creative director John Galliano at Christian Dior, there’s been no announcement. Of course we’re still on tenterhooks, but in the meantime, the press have moved on to other stories after a series of false alarms. Now, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, is looking rather relaxed and unconcerned about his, errr, lack of a designer at the conglomerate’s biggest name fashion house;
‘Nothing has been decided,' said Arnault, explaining that Dior would see a number of candidates and then reflect on its options — with no specific deadline in mind. In the interim, Dior’s design studios would soldier on making collections. 'They are effective, creative and accustomed to doing so,’ he assured.
Heavens! And we thought fashionistas were all supposed to be right old drama queens. Two reasons that M. Arnault might be being so sanguine are; LVMH profits are up 19.2 % to £3.34 billion. AND because the design team behind Dior are clearly very capable people. During Galliano’s tenure, let’s not forget he had umpteen collections, couture, pre-collections and menswear for example - to the extent that he was not part of the day-to-day running of each. The atelier managed to produce the A/W ’11 collection without too much trouble, which was critically well received and Dior’s sales are also doing well - up 15% in the year 2010.
He’s so confident about Dior’s future, M. Arnault is even teasing his shareholders. One of them suggested Dior might consider French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier, who's just finished being the women’s ready-to-wear designer at Hermès, to which Arnault replied merrily: ‘I’ll note your suggestion.’
Certain industry insiders have pointed out that a successor won't be named while they've still got Galliano's last collection to sell because it seems collectible now, but may feel like old news as soon as the new Dior designer is announced.
Hmmm. He clearly knows but isn’t telling anyone.
- Naomi Attwood