PARIS — Nina Ricci has named Peter Copping as its new artistic director, confirming a report in WWD Jan. 28 that the Louis Vuitton veteran was in line to succeed Olivier Theyskens at the helm of the Paris fashion house.
Copping started Monday, with his first order of business being to design a capsule resort collection to feed Ricci’s flagship boutique on the Avenue Montaigne and several shop-in-shops around the world.
However, the designer will likely not stage his first runway show for the 77-year-old brand until next March. The company stressed it is not a cost-saving measure but rather an effort to allow Copping sufficient time to immerse himself in Ricci before making his first big fashion statement for a brand synonymous with ethereal femininity.
“I think it’s a name with a very nice history,” the designer told WWD Tuesday. “I love all the French fashionisms, and Nina Ricci is very much a French house. It’s going to feel very close to all the things I personally like.”
Yet Copping also expressed a willingness to break with the past and make Ricci “contemporary again” and broaden its appeal. “We want to move away from a girl and be more about a woman,” he said. “I want the clothes to be very tactile, very luxurious — the kind of clothes a woman enjoys wearing, and with attention to detail, which is something I learned at Vuitton.”
He said he’d also like to reclaim Ricci’s reputation for tailoring, not only flou, and expand its still-limited universe of accessories.
An Englishman and a low-key figure on the Paris fashion scene, Copping, 42, is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins in London.
Vuitton’s creative director Marc Jacobs recruited Copping as his first assistant in 1997, when the French luxury goods giant launched a ready-to-wear collection. Copping’s most recent title there was women’s wear studio director. Before that, he worked for several years in the design studios of Sonia Rykiel.
“I think Peter’s very tuned into the consumer [who is] a very real woman,” said Mario Grauso, president of Puig Fashion Group, while allowing the designer would need time to acclimate to the house and the wholesale-driven nature of the Ricci business.
Grauso said Copping’s first designs would be unveiled to the trade in late June and be delivered in stores around December.
Copping’s appointment marks the final denouement to months of speculation, as well as tensions between Ricci and Theyskens, the Belgian wunderkind who won media acclaim for his five collections for Ricci while failing to ignite a commercial spark. Theyskens exited the fashion house March 10, ahead of the expiration of his contract in October. At the time, Ricci said it “wishes to reorientate its development strategy for the years to come.”
Puig is keen to bring Ricci’s fashion house up to the level of success of its perfume business, buoyed by the perennial L’Air du Temps and recent hits like Nina. The brand has also recruited a number of senior leather goods designers from Vuitton as it seeks to gain traction in the high-margin accessories arena. Spain’s Puig Group owns Ricci, as well as the fashion houses Carolina Herrera and Paco Rabanne.
Meanwhile, Theyskens, whose résumé includes a stint at Rochas, has kept mum about his career intentions since staging his swan song Ricci collection during Paris Fashion Week last month, its Goth leanings viewed as a creative kiss-off to Puig management. It is understood Theyskens owns the rights to his trademark, and he is said to be mulling a relaunch of his signature label.
The Ricci label is sold in more than 200 doors worldwide, including about 50 in the U.S.
Before Theyskens, Lars Nilsson was the designer of Ricci for three years, during which time ready-to-wear sales doubled. Prior to that, James Aguiar and Nathalie Gervais had design stints at the house.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye