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.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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)