He succeeds Susan Whiteley, a British national who is said to be returning to the U.K. for personal reasons. She joined Givenchy a year ago from Louis Vuitton, where she had been general manager of the U.K., Ireland and Scandinavia since 2004. Holder of an M.B.A. from the Barcelona business school Esade, Suhl is best known for his meteoric career at Prada.
He joined the company in 2001 as general manager of France, following stints at the fashion houses Courrèges and Thimister.
Polyglot and full of energy, Suhl was promoted to Prada’s ceo in the Asia-Pacific in 2005, where he spearheaded the Italian firm’s retail expansion.
In 2009, he was named group chief operating officer, which had him reporting to ceo Patrizio Bertelli, and heading the retail, wholesale, e-commerce and marketing departments for the Prada, Miu Miu and Car Shoe brands. “During his time at Prada, Sebastian Suhl has shown not only in-depth knowledge of the markets but also the capacity to expand and increase business dynamically and effectively,” Bertelli stated at the time.
Indeed, Suhl has been pursued by a number of high-profile fashion players, including Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., parent of Uniqlo, as reported.
He arrives at a fashion house that has been on a roll under Riccardo Tisci, its couturier since 2005. Leaving Givenchy’s prim, clichéd “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” image of yore in the dust, Tisci has charted a more hot-blooded, dark-hearted path for the house. While faithful to the hallmarks of the brand — aristocracy, chic elegance and a French spirit — Tisci’s look is clean and severe, with a touch of romance. Recent Givenchy collections have been influential, fanning trends for bold prints and sparkling crystal.
Tisci, 37, keeps racking up high-profile celebrity credits, dressing “Millennium” actress Rooney Mara for the most recent Academy Awards, and Madonna for her halftime performance at last month’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
But the brand has yet to push the accelerator on its retail expansion, relying mostly on wholesale for distribution, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Although LVMH’s biggest and most profitable brands — headlined by Louis Vuitton and Fendi — get the lion’s share of attention from analysts, its so-called second-tier brands have been gaining momentum. They fall under the purview of Pierre-Yves Roussel, the chairman and ceo of LVMH’s fashion division, which also includes Kenzo, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Loewe and Emilio Pucci.
At the French group’s most recent results presentation, LVMH chairman and ceo Bernard Arnault trumpeted rapidly improving fortunes for many of the group’s smaller brands, singling out Loewe and Celine for special mention.
“We are generating remarkable growth numbers,” he said with a smile. “I’m not promising another Louis Vuitton, but we certainly expect new businesses of the same caliber."
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)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“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