By  on June 28, 2012

Schiaparelli? It’s not just the gal who looks a lot like Judy Davis and talks across the decades to Miuccia Prada at the Met, but an entity throwing a party during couture to celebrate the opening of its new headquarters. Never mind that it is not currently a business by any reasonable measure of the word. Rather, it is a trademark with possibilities, at least in the view of Diego Della Valle, one of the fashion industry’s great brand masters, who purchased it, hired a chief executive officer, rented office space and is on the hunt for a designer to help realize the house’s potential.

Make that the brand’s potential. Nobody talks about fashion houses/maisons anymore; in either language, the notion harkens to a quaint and ever-more-distant past, when a fashion house was presided over by a head, the first one typically its creative founder. Now houses have become brands administrated by ceo’s; some are parts of great luxury groups, brands unto themselves. Their operating principle (if not the price of their wares) is practically Marxist: The brand is supreme. The individual exists for the good of the brand.

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