What’s this? Marc Jacobs is no longer odds-on favourite to take over at Christian Dior?? Blimmin’ heck. As some people say, you can’t turn your back for 5 minutes in the world of fashion, because everything’ll suddenly change around. According to WWD, Mr Jacobs wouldn’t back down on his key demand that he be permitted by Bernard Arnault, owner of LVMH, to take his entire design team from Louis Vuitton with him to Christian Dior. This suggestion hasn’t been well received by M. Arnault, neither apparently has the idea that Phoebe Philo take over at Vuitton by the good lady designer herself. Philo is said to be more than happy at Celine, a smaller but no less respected house where she has had free reign to transform it into a fashion-editor-bait minimalist heaven.
If the wheels really have fallen off talks with Marc, then where does that leave the future of the House of Dior? The names now highest up the list are currently Alexander Wang, Raf Simons and Jason Wu. Jason Wu has proved he can bouffe out a ballgown to the max, which, of course, is a vital element of the brief for Dior, one of the defining haute couture houses. Neither American candidate has couture experience, and Raf Simmons is sooo brilliant at Jil Sander, (formerly owned by Prada, now a European investment company) having injected colour and print into a formerly austere minimalist label with the lightest of touches, well, doesn’t it seem a shame to move him from there?
Therein lies the nub of the problem. It would seem from Arnault’s point of view that nearly all the most talented designers work for him already (or else for their own business e.g. Versace or Dolce & Gabbana) so to move any one of them – case in point, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy – would cause him no end of headaches in another part of his empire. In an interview from 2003, Monsieur Arnault was quoted as saying ‘Had I hired Marc Jacobs for Dior and John Galliano for Louis Vuitton, it would not have worked as well for both brands, even though both designers are geniuses of their own,’
Dear oh dear. *Sighs theatrically* WHAT is to be done?