NEW YORK — Halston is on the lookout for a new designer.
Creative director Bradley Bayou is leaving the iconic American label to pursue several opportunities, including building his own collection and more television work. The fall collection, which is to be presented by appointment at Halston’s atelier in Los Angeles next month, will be Bayou’s last for the house.
“Bradley has done five collections for Halston, and it’s been a good relationship,” James J. Ammeen, chief executive officer of Halston LLC, said. “We can’t speak for him, but it became obvious to us in our recent experience that we are moving the brand in a direction that may be a little different from where it would be if we were to do it with Bradley.”
Ammeen added that it was too early to disclose the direction the label is planning to take, but said, “There will be a successor. We have identified several candidates and will go through a process of making that decision.”
Bayou became Halston’s creative director in December 2002 after the company went through several designers in five years to revive the iconic brand, which was relaunched in 1997. Randolph Duke, Kevan Hall, Craig Natiello and Piyawat Pattanapuckdee each passed through Halston’s threshold, but made news with dramatic departures. There were reports of staff abuse, alcohol problems and even a rumored penile enhancement gone wrong during the various tenures.
This threatened to discredit the house’s respectability, but Bayou managed to deflect any image problems. His tenure was scandal-free, and the label was picked up by Bergdorf Goodman, and his dresses adorned the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Debra Messing, Janet Jackson and Eve. Just recently, an episode of “Desperate Housewives” played out in a charity fashion show of Halston dresses.
Bayou, a Texan, broke into the fashion business in 1989 with his own hand-painted vests that were sold at Neiman Marcus, Fred Segal and Barneys New York. He established signature custom and ready-to-wear collections, and often appeared on TV shows such as “Live with Regis & Kelly” and “The View.”
“I have just decided it was time to pursue my own label,” Bayou said. “I love the association with Hollywood, and my strength is turning celebrities who are considered to be the worst dressed into the best dressed. I am about to do it again for the Academy Awards and it will be a big one.”