Tom Ford and Madonna were also interviewed for the Mr. Porter-produced documentary film about costume designer Arianne Phillips.
A veteran of brands including Jean Paul Gaultier and Hermès, René succeeds American designer Adam Andrascik.
A host of European designers have referenced religion in their collections, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Riccardo Tisci.
The designer sat down with WWD in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview.
A member of the Cannes jury in 2012, the French designer was the only fashion industry figure in the festival’s group portrait.
The Spanish company has also opened an office in the region.