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.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast