MILAN — Referring to the short-lived marriage between Lars Nilsson and the house of Ferré, IT Holding's Tonino Perna believes that in the case of divorce, it's always better when children aren't involved.
The children in this case would have been the fall designs that would have marked Nilsson's debut at Ferré next Monday. Needless to say, the buzz was mounting but, as reported, Ferré parent IT Holding SpA split with Nilsson on Friday with no reason given.
"It was an unpleasant decision to take, also because I respect Nilsson, he is a nice and professional person. It's no one's fault, but the relationship didn't work out and we thought it would be better to interrupt it before the show," Perna, IT Holding's chairman, told WWD on Monday.
He stressed the premature end to Nilsson's tenure was part of the designer's contract and didn't involve any extra costs for the group.
When problems started developing with Nilsson, Perna asked Ferré's in-house design team to develop fall looks that were a contemporary rendition of the Ferré style codes.
"What we learned when Ferré passed away was that the designer not only left us with a great brand but he had also trained a very seasoned and capable design team," said Perna.
According to sources, Nilsson not only steered away from Ferré's aesthetic but he didn't bond with the design teams, especially with the men's wear one that was hostile to him. But his supporters pointed out the teams were already in place when he arrived and he needed time to adjust to a staff that had worked with Ferré for years. Yet another source described Nilsson's debut approach as "very Italian: chic and salable."
Many agreed the Swedish designer had a lot on his plate, but his diffidence probably led him to misjudge his workload. According to one source, Nilsson did not take advantage of the teamwork approach that would have taken some weight off his shoulders. "It's always hard to replace a designer who has poured his heart and soul for decades to build a fashion brand," said a source familiar with the house.
Most people confirmed IT Holding went to great lengths to supply Nilsson with the support he needed and to produce the clothes for Monday's show.
Nilsson was not available for comment Monday.
Perna said a creative director will replace Nilsson. "A creative director today must have managerial skills in guiding a team and must also understand the market direction and the consumers' needs, especially when you have different lines and a wide product range. It's not easy to find someone with all these requisites," he said.
Aside from the Ferré main line, the house also produces the Ferré Milano diffusion line and the younger GF Ferré label.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast