Virgil Abloh


PARIS — All bets are off again regarding Riccardo Tisci’s potential successor at Givenchy.

The French fashion house on Friday denied mounting speculation that it had held talks with Off-White designer Virgil Abloh to take over as creative director of the brand.

This story first appeared in the February 11, 2017 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Givenchy’s new creative organization will be communicated shortly. Mr. Abloh was not approached by the house and is not to join the organization,” Givenchy said in a statement to WWD.

Market sources reported earlier this week that the French fashion house held discussions with Abloh, who is also Kanye West’s creative director. Contacted by WWD, Abloh declined to comment on Givenchy specifically, but reiterated his previously stated aim of eventually taking the reins of a leading luxury house.

Since Givenchy confirmed last week that Tisci was leaving after 12 years at the helm, rumors have swirled about who could replace him. Tisci is reportedly headed to Versace, and Givenchy has so far declined to comment on potential candidates.

Tisci’s exit is the latest tremor as creative upheaval spreads through the top ranks of international fashion.

Over the past year, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Marni, Lanvin, Chloé, Jil Sander, Ermenegildo Zegna, Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Carven have all made changes in creative leadership.

As Givenchy draws up its list of potential candidates, it could consider such well-known designers on the market as Hedi Slimane, Clare Waight Keller, Alber Elbaz, Peter Dundas, Rodolfo Paglialunga and Peter Copping. Buzzy designers like Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing could also be on its radar.

Abloh, part of a rising generation of young designers that includes Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy, has spoken in the past about how he would like to shake up the establishment.

“I have a litany of ideas that bring modern relevance, but also a financial vision on how these brands can be more successful in the space of luxury,” he told WWD in an interview last year. “Off-White is sort of my résumé and it’s my laboratory to experiment with these ideas to see which ones are valid.”

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