Joel Palix, president of Clarins Fragrance Group and director general of Mugler, is expected to soon unveil a new strategic plan for Mugler “that builds on its highly successful legacy in fragrance and its new momentum in fashion.”
“Nicola has accomplished our original mission of bringing his energy to the brand,” Palix said. “With his talent for communication and understanding modern imagery and design, Nicola has been instrumental in attracting a new audience, which is undeniably crucial for the future strategy of the house. He will be a historical part of the Mugler legacy and known as the force that catapulted us forward.”
Formichetti — who collaborates with magazines such as V; styles celebrities including Kim Kardashian; is creative fashion director at Uniqlo, and has a line of T-shirts and trinkets under the Nicopanda label — is expected to shortly reveal a major collaboration with Italian denim giant Diesel.
Diesel executives declined to comment Tuesday.
A frenetic presence on the Internet who had live-streamed his preparations for the Mugler show and invited design input via crowdsourcing, Formichetti tweeted on Monday, “Big announcements coming this week!!”
For his part, Formichetti called his Mugler stint “a challenge to reinvigorate the house for a new generation and audience, particularly one that has grown up exploring fashion through the Internet.
“I really hope the audience has enjoyed what we have done and appreciated our push to democratize high fashion, not only through the enjoyment of clothing but also through a total, inclusive fashion experience,” he added.
Pressed for his reasons for leaving Mugler, he told WWD, “I wanted to do something else, even bigger, more global.”
While Formichetti carried the creative director title at Mugler, he is not a trained fashion designer and instead oversaw two seasoned talents: Sébastien Peigné, a 10-year veteran of Balenciaga, head designer of women’s at Mugler, and Romain Kremer, who had shown experimental looks for men under his own Paris label, head designer of men’s.
To be sure, Formichetti brought noise and editorial attention to Mugler with his celebrity connections, Gaga runway soundtracks and his constant feed of editorial credits and Mugler-related imagery on his Web site and Tumblr page.
During Formichetti’s tenure, Mugler fashions did not ignite a maelstrom of demand, but made some business inroads.
According to a Mugler spokesman, the women’s line is sold to about 45 retailers worldwide, including ones in the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Ukraine, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy and Holland.
The men’s line is sold in 25 stores, including Maxfield, Opening Ceremony, Patron of the New, Isetan, Joyce and Antonioli. The bag line, introduced in February, is carried at a range of retailers in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, China, Italy and Canada, and online.
Owned by Clarins Group and best known for its best-selling scent Angel, Thierry Mugler lost momentum with fashion in the minimalist Nineties, and in 2003, Clarins shuttered the money-losing fashion business, selling its remaining four stores and Anger, France-based factory to Balmain.
Mugler subsequently licensed out its men’s wear to focus mostly on building its fragrance portfolio, which includes the scents Alien, Womanity, Cologne and Amen.
Mugler quietly resuscitated its women’s wear line in 2008, tapping Rosemary Rodriguez, an alumna of the house who had previously been at Paco Rabanne, as creative director for women’s wear and men’s wear. Formichetti, a half-Italian, half-Japanese wunderkind who was touted by Mugler as being “on the cutting edge of international pop culture,” succeeded her.
According to Formichetti, sales of Mugler perfumes increased since he started at the firm, suggesting fashion and perfume remain good business bedfellows.
He said his proudest achievement was giving the Mugler name fresh currency with young people, especially via his collaborations with Gaga and Genest.
“In a way, we had to start from scratch. What we had was a great legacy and DNA,” Formichetti mused. “We were all new to the project, so we were all fearless. We just did it.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion