PARIS — Since the company that bears his name sought court protection from creditors last month, Christian Lacroix was approached by one of his big couture clients with an offer to rescue the house.
Whether or not the offer was wholly serious, Lacroix rebuffed the advance. “I prefer her as a client rather than chairwoman,” he said, unleashing one of his infectious laughs.
Keen to support the talented seamstresses in his atelier, Lacroix said he continues to sketch couture dresses in anticipation of a presentation of some kind come couture week next month — even if there is no budget to use outside suppliers like embroiderers, and not even a photocopier in the design studios.
“They deserve it, even if we can’t show it,” he said Monday at his XLCX design studio here. “I can’t stand having them do nothing during this period because they have it in their blood. January and July, it’s couture. It’s a physical clock.”
And even if Lacroix said he feels joyful when he is sketching — “the quintessence of Lacroix is the opposite of mourning,” he insisted — there is disappointment and anger simmering beneath the surface.
In an interview, Lacroix was vocal about management missteps at the Paris-based fashion house, also describing strained relations with the owners, Florida-based Falic Group, and its chief executive, Nicolas Topiol.
He described as “courageous” their decision to cut the Bazar and Christian Lacroix Jeans diffusion lines as part of a costly upscaling drive to burnish Lacroix’s couture image. However, he charged that corners were subsequently cut in materials and manufacturing, which he asserted contributed to a 35 percent drop in sales the company cited at the time of its Chapter 11 filing.
“If you decide to do something in the deluxe field, you have to go all the way,” he said. “Even the best factory can’t make beautiful clothes with cut-rate fabrics.”
Lacroix expressed regret that nonpayment has put factory workers and small, independent artisans in jeopardy. He noted that his widely acclaimed fall-winter collection, paraded in a dingy garage in the Marais, will probably not get produced because its factory in Granville is listed among the creditors. (Lacroix, who contracts his design services through XLCX, is owed about 1.2 million euros, or $1.7 million.)
Lacroix held out hope the company, in administration for a period of six months, could emerge with new ownership. As reported, talks are ongoing with a Swiss group of investors, and sources have said the voluntary petition could attract additional suitors.
However, Lacroix acknowledged it is also possible the house could be reduced to a licensing operation with only a handful of employees — and no couture, which he considers anathema to the brand he launched 22 years ago.
“I know that my work, my inspiration and my creativity is not minimal and not so easy to make, but we have the proof that with skill and cleverness and good partnerships, it’s possible,” he said, citing a strong men’s wear business as one example.
He noted, too, that the cinemas he designs for Gaumont are not only for beautiful colors and prints, but also for driving business at the concession stands. “My duty is to design beautiful places for selling popcorn,” he said cheerily.
For now, he said his duty is to feed the ateliers sketches and keep their hands busy. “They want to fight,” Lacroix said. “They are very strong: You know French women and the Resistance! The best way to fight would be to do a beautiful collection.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)