PARIS — From furniture to trams to hotels, this promises to be a hectic, blockbuster year for the multitasking Christian Lacroix.
The designer celebrates the 20th anniversary of his couture house in 2007, a fact being marked by exhibitions in Paris, Hyères and Moulin, France — plus an extra-long list of side projects, from opera costumes to a plush-but-not-too-cuddly toy for children.
"It's gone so fast," Lacroix mused about crossing the 20-year mark in an interview Thursday, taking a break from fittings ahead of his couture show here next week. "I don't like anniversaries so much. I don't even celebrate my birthdays. It's just time passing by. But it's a good way of thanking people who work with me."
To be sure, they will all be in high gear given the number of Lacroix projects coagulating in 2007. Here is a rundown:
On Jan. 26, at the end of couture week, Lacroix will be feted at a gala dinner during the Maison & Objet home design show after being crowned its Creator of the Year. Lacroix confessed he was perplexed by the honor.
"I asked, ‘Who was the last one?' [Architect] Jean Nouvel, I was told. Not bad!" he said, breaking into laughter. Unfortunately, some of Lacroix's recent projects that won him the honor (high-speed trains and movie theaters) are too cumbersome to display at the show, so he will opt for a table setting.
On Jan. 30, a press conference is scheduled to reveal that Lacroix has won the contract to design a new tramway for the southern French city of Montpellier. "I was sure of losing," he said, describing a whimsical sea decor scheme with swimming-pool colors and coral-shaped coat hangers. The trains are slated to be operational in about two years.
On Feb. 2, Lacroix's latest women's fragrance, with partner Inter Parfums, will be unveiled in Paris. The designer was mum on details, but assured, "I like it."
This spring, Habitat stores will begin stocking a slate of new objects for children, and Lacroix proposed some stuffed creatures à la Tim Burton. He calls them "monsters."
In April, Lacroix is slated to reprise his fall runway show in Tokyo in a move to help raise his profile in the market.
Also in April, Lacroix will head down to Hyères for its annual fashion festival, as head of the jury for the fashion competition and as the subject of a poolside exhibition at the landmark Villa Noailles. Lacroix is still finalizing the concept but is collaborating with industrial designer David Dubois, who does his boutiques, and choreographer Christian Rizzo, who for one performance had male dancers wear satin Lacroix couture boots…on their hands.
In June, the national costume museum in Moulin will showcase a retrospective of Lacroix's set and clothing designs for the stage. The designer confessed he has outfitted so many operas and plays, "I forgot about a lot of things." But not his latest project: costumes for the "Marriage of Figaro" during the festival in Aix-en-Provence. (He's also been tapped for a contemporary version of "Romeo and Juliet" for 2008 at Paris's Opera Comique.)
This fall, the La Redoute catalogue will feature a range of new designs by Lacroix, most of them for the home, including tables, chairs, bedding and tableware.
In November, Paris' second boutique hotel designed by Lacroix will open on Rue de Bellechasse. He noted that model suites would be ready for inspection next month.
Also in November, the designer will curate a major exhibition at the Museum of Fashion and Textiles here that will mix treasures from its archives with his designs. Not a retrospective per se, the show is meant to shed light on the couturier's creative process and his eye on fashion. To be sure, he was agog at the museum's rich offerings, including knitwear from the 15th century. "It was like Missoni: bright green with patterns," he marveled.
Lacroix noted there might be even more on his plate this year: He has entered a competition to design street furniture for the City of Paris, meaning his baroque touches could soon be found on everything from benches to billboards.
Meanwhile, Lacroix related that his rapport with his new owners, Florida-based Falic Group, continues to go swimmingly and that "it helps having my mind lighter."Lacroix's pre-fall and fall collections — now freed of all lingering production ties to the former owner, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — went on sale to buyers this week at the firm's new permanent showrooms at 79 Rue de Monceau.
Nicolas Topiol, Lacroix's chief executive officer, said the transition from a "diffusion company" to a maker of luxury ready-to-wear is complete and getting strong feedback from its retail partners. To bolster its U.S. presence, the house recently hired Terry Esther Cohen from Lanvin to head its business in the Americas.
Topiol said the flurry of activities, including yet-to-be-defined anniversary festivities planned around the July couture, are bound to raise the brand's profile, culminating with the fall opening of its first Manhattan flagship at 36 East 57th Street. He noted the Lacroix business is on track to reach breakeven in 2008.
And couture, despite dire predictions of extinction, remains "surprisingly robust," Topiol said, citing a 30 percent increase in sales last year for high fashions.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)