Lanvin Fires Designer and Appoints New Interim CEO

by Charles Manning

Artistic director Olivier Lapidus is out at Lanvin, effective immediately.

Olivier Lapidus taking his bow after Lanvin’s fall 2018 show in Paris. (FirstVIEW)

Joann Cheng, president of Fosun Fashion Group — whose parent company, Fosun International, bought Lanvin last month — told WWD, “Olivier steered the maison through a transitional period between ownerships. We thank him for that, and wish him every success for his own brand and future endeavors.”

Cheng herself will act as interim CEO for the brand during the transition.

“Lanvin is a truly iconic and storied brand with immense potential,” Cheng said. “The re-launch of Lanvin with fresh talents, while adhering to the values that the brand has maintained since 1889, is fundamental to returning the maison to its rightful position at the top table of the world’s most lauded and innovative fashion houses.”

Lanvin has struggled for years with declining sales, especially following the departure of designer Alber Elbaz in 2015. Bouchra Jarrar succeeded Elbaz in 2016, but only showed two ready-to-wear collections before departing the brand in 2017, at which point Olivier Lapidus stepped in. His first collection for the house was almost universally panned and his fall 2018 follow-up show last month fared only a little better, with Luke Leitch of Vogue.com saying “the most shocking thing about this collection was how not completely awful it was.” Not exactly high praise.

No word yet on who will replace Lapidus. Perhaps Guillaume Henry, formerly of Nina Ricci? Or maybe Fosun will keep things in-house by promoting menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver to oversee both collections? Ossendrijver has been the head of menswear at Lanvin since 2006 and might bring an interesting flavor to the women’s line. That is, if he even wants the job, which very well may not.

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