PARIS — Balmain said Tuesday it’s skipping couture week in July and parting ways with its creative director, Laurent Mercier. This confirms a report in these columns on Friday.
But the house said it plans to continue its couture activity and be back on the ready-to-wear runway by October with a new creative director. A Balmain spokeswoman said an announcement is expected by mid-July, but she declined to identify potential candidates.
As reported, Balmain also is expected to take over the Thierry Mugler factory in Angers, France, and its four Paris boutiques. Groupe Clarins, owner of Mugler, plans to shutter the money-losing fashion house to concentrate on Mugler fragrances and is expected to detail its plans today at a special employee meeting. About 250 Mugler employees are affected.
Balmain, which enjoyed 10 years of strong press and consistent sales with couturier Oscar de la Renta before his swan song a year ago, has endured a revolving door in its ready-to-wear department. Mercier, who took up the couture reins for one season after three rtw outings, failed to generate buzz for the house or carve out a new direction. His arrival in 2001 came after the house chewed through a string of designers, including Gilles Dufour and Andrew Gn.
Mercier had a signature line prior to joining Balmain and said he plans to relaunch that collection next year.
A room full of toiles at the haute couture atelier in the Dior exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, open in Paris since July 5. This is just one of three major exhibitions that have been timed to coincide with the house's 70th anniversary. See the rest of the exhibits, plus read WWD's look into the iconic brand's history. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
For spring, Pamplemousse's Danica Zheng presented her signature slip dresses attached to a white T-shirt along with floral windbreakers, off-the-shoulder cotton blouses and more. For more highlights from the New York trade shows, go to WWD.com. #wwdfashion
The Green Carpet Fashion Awards closed out Milan Fashion Week yesterday. The fashion industry flocked to the event, showing its efforts to support and spread the message of sustainability. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen said "if each one of us took at least one step is this direction, there is no saying how much could be done." #wwdeye #wwdfashion #mfw (📷: Lodovico Colli di Felizzano)
Etro’s show, titled “The Tree of Life,” was a celebration of the house’s 50th anniversary. “My father founded the company in 1968, which was the year of counterculture and psychedelia. It’s really a show that celebrates that and the paisley design of India and its origin,” said Veronica Etro. #wwdfashion #mfw #ss18 (📷: @delphineachard)
For @msgm’s spring 2018 show, creative director @massimogiorgetti said “Words, sounds, colors. Synthesis and therapy of a collection,” were the inspirations behind the collection, showing today. Read the rest of Milan spring 2018 inspirations on WWD.com. #mfw #wwdfashion #ss18
For her first solo album in over 10 years, Fergie tapped Carine Roitfeld, Mert and Marcus, Giovanni Bianco and more to create a fashion-focused video approach for the record, Double Dutchess. "Giovanni really helped me get back in touch with my tomboy side, my hardside," said the singer. #wwdeye #wwdfashion ( : @slovekinpics)