NEW YORK — This fashion week will mark the last time Diane von Furstenberg will take her runway bow alongside creative director Nathan Jenden.
After the show, Jenden will leave the company to focus exclusively on his own collection, which he launched in 2006 and which is now sold in stores such as Louis Boston, Harrods and Matches in London, and Joyce in China.
“This show is really a celebration of Nathan and I, and of our collaboration,” von Furstenberg said in an exclusive interview. “It’s sad because we are going apart, even though we are staying close, and exciting because he is going to do his thing and focus on it.”
Late Wednesday, von Furstenberg revealed that Jenden will be succeeded by Yvan Mispelaere, who is perhaps best known as the designer who was a member of Phoebe Philo’s design team at Chloé and took a runway bow after her exit. He left Chloé to join Gucci as design director under creative director Frida Giannini in 2006.
Von Furstenberg and Jenden have worked together since 2001 — his first show for the label was on Sept. 9, 2001 — and she has made no qualms about shining some of the spotlight on Jenden — most notably at the end of every runway show, when he came out with the designer, and, a few steps behind her, clapping for her as she walked the full length of the runway. Jenden said the time was right to make the move, both for him and for his soon-to-be former employer.
“I have given so much of myself to Diane, and Diane has given so much of herself to me, and I felt I really wanted to concentrate on Nathan Jenden, and that it was important in my commitment to Diane to be honest about that,” he said. “Diane herself and DVF as a company are really important to me, and we built something together — a second generation — and it felt like it would be remiss of me to not be frank with Diane.”
Jenden was director of design for Daryl K. before joining von Furstenberg. There, he helped the designer reestablish herself in fashion, and von Furstenberg in turn helped Jenden make a name for himself in fashion circles.
“I felt like it is now or never,” he said. “These nine years have been a large part of my life. I am so proud of knowing her, and so proud of the journey we have taken together. When I first met Diane, not everybody knew her story. We have really developed the brand around Diane and her lifestyle and spirit of this woman. That brand is established now.
“From when I started doing my own line to now, the company has grown so much bigger,” Jenden added. “That’s what I will take with me, having watched Diane build it from something very small with one store to a company with 33 stores, and more opening.”
Von Furstenberg recalled their first encounter, when the young Brit made no qualms about his ambitions to have his own line. When he finally launched it four years ago, she didn’t miss a beat and invested in the business, which she will continue to do after Jenden leaves.
“I have an interest in his company and I have an interest in his future, and if he wants to show in New York, then I will help him as the president of the CFDA,” von Furstenberg said.
That should be music to the ears of Jenden, who admitted he is considering returning to New York to show his collection. Except for his launch collection, Jenden has been showing his line during London Fashion Week to allow him more time to prepare for his show.
“Nathan is someone who is part of the family, and will remain that way,” she said. “I always joke because he looks very much like Egon [von Furstenberg, her late former husband] when Egon was young. He was 29 when he came in. He has learned a lot, and he has grown a lot. It’s been a really fun ride.”
Jenden plans to go to London right after DVF’s show to prepare for his own fall show, followed by a trip to Paris to sell his collection. Now that he has the time to focus on his own line, he plans to expand his collection with his first resort season and build an accessories business. He already has a small sunglasses collection. For his part, he will always view von Furstenberg as something of a mentor.
“Diane has taught me so many different things,” Jenden added. “The most important thing Diane taught me is a talent for life, and how to live your life to the fullest, and how to maximize it…and to do it with a smile.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)