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PARIS — Louis Vuitton, which recently recruited Nicolas Ghesquière to succeed Marc Jacobs as artistic director of women’s collections, is adding more creative firepower to the studio, WWD has learned.
According to market sources, Camille Miceli, who designs costume jewelry and advises on certain leather goods at Christian Dior, is to join Vuitton after the couture shows in January in a similar capacity.
The move marks a homecoming for Miceli, who joined Dior in 2009 after a 12-year career at Vuitton.
Neither Vuitton officials nor Miceli could immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.
A vivacious fixture on the Paris fashion scene, Miceli joined Vuitton’s public relations department in 1997 just as Jacobs arrived as its artistic director with a mission to lead the heritage leather goods maker into the modern fashion age by adding ready-to-wear and other fashion categories.
Encouraged by the American designer, Miceli segued into creative pursuits and began designing costume jewelry collections at Vuitton in 2003, building it into a growing and high-profile business. In 2008, she collaborated with music superstar Pharrell Williams on a high-jewelry range dubbed Blason, the French word for coat of arms.
Known for her playful and funky sensibility, she once created chunky metal Vuitton necklaces that resembled the loops of construction paper children might string into garlands. She regularly employs such unusual materials as wood, painted metal, plastic and feathers for jewelry.
On a more extreme side, she recently developed a process that involved heating large Swarovski Elements in an oven until they explode. “They kind of resemble semiprecious stones, but they’re not,” she told WWD in 2010.
While at Dior, it is understood Miceli developed a strong working rapport with Delphine Arnault, who had been deputy general manager there until last September, when Arnault moved over to become Vuitton’s second in command, in charge of all the house’s product-related activities.
Sources said the costume jewelry category at Dior under Miceli has been progressing at a fast double-digit pace.
Miceli cultivated friendships with an array of creative people outside of Dior, including Ghesquière, even inviting him to attend a Dior-sponsored dinner at Caviar Kaspia in the weeks after he exited Balenciaga, part of Kering, a rival group to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Miceli started her fashion career at 15 when she interned at Chanel and Azzedine Alaïa. She spent seven years as a publicist at Chanel before joining Vuitton.
She joins another new high-profile Vuitton recruit: Darren Spaziani joined the French firm last October from Proenza Schouler to spearhead new lines of “very high-end” leather goods as Vuitton drives its products and brand image ever more upscale.