PARIS — Paco Rabanne has promoted its hip young studio design director Lydia Maurer to the position of creative director for women’s wear. Maurer will present her first collection for the house during Paris Fashion Week in October and will also oversee accessories.
The news comes one month after the house, which is owned by Barcelona-based Puig, revealed that it had parted ways with designer Manish Arora by mutual agreement after two seasons of collaboration. The Indian designer was brought on board last year to revive the brand’s dormant fashion business.
Maurer, 29, joined the Paco Rabanne studio in November to help oversee the house’s fall collection, which garnered positive reviews, attracting a number of key new retailers, such as Le Bon Marché. The brand for now has a niche positioning and is distributed in about 50 points of sale.
Maurer was born in Germany and is half-Colombian, half-German. She studied fashion design at Studio Berçot in Paris and has worked on the design teams of Yves Saint Laurent, Martine Sitbon and Givenchy.
In an exclusive interview with WWD on Tuesday, Paco Rabanne’s vice president Vincent Thilloy shared some of the attributes that, for him, make Maurer the right woman for the job.
“She has a true vision of what Paco Rabanne’s [fashion voice] is and what sets the house aside from the pack in terms of design signatures. She brings a real freshness,” he said. “She has this sensual Latin side, but also this sense of rigor that is very Germanic, with a real architectural approach to construction — she is very Rabanne.”
Taking a baby steps approach to growing the business, focusing on quality production and distribution networks, the aim is to build a ready-to-wear line that has a strong design identity but is also wearable, he added. “The end goal is that it sells,” said Thilloy.
Aside from some knitwear produced in Italy, the brand’s entire collection, including accessories, is made in France.
Maurer has spent the past few months getting acquainted with the house’s archives, which she described as a “treasure trove.” She said she aims to “organically” channel house codes in a contemporary wardrobe, prioritizing femininity, sensuality and comfort.
The designer wants to develop more sensual takes on the house’s iconic materials, such as metal mesh.
“We started by thinking about wearability,” said Maurer. “Paco Rabanne has always had a hard time existing [outside of] its beautiful iconic dresses that were made out of metal or plastic, or other uncanny materials, so the main concern was really to start by rendering [looks] more feminine, fluid and warm.”
The aim is to appeal to real women while retaining an avant-garde spirit.
“We don’t want to say no to performance artists like Lady Gaga [who wore pieces from Arora’s first collection for the house] because obviously that is part of [the Paco Rabanne] universe, but that is not the only reason we are here,” she said. “Obviously, the Paco Rabanne woman likes to go out, she’s a woman of the world.…She is not necessarily going to come to Paco Rabanne to buy clothes for wearing to the office, but we also want to appeal to women who don’t necessarily want to be living sculptures.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
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)