PARIS — In the latest shakeup at the troubled house of Lanvin, majority owner Shaw-Lan Wang has reshuffled the company’s management, bringing back former Lanvin executive Nicolas Druz as her adviser, WWD has learned.
His appointment was effective Aug. 29, according to a note from Wang that was sent to personnel and seen by WWD. “He is charged with assisting me in the decision-making process,” the Taiwan-based media magnate said.
Separately, she revealed Michèle Huiban, chief executive officer of the brand since 2013, would step down from the board of directors and remain with the company as deputy managing director, a post she has held since 2011. She will also retain her position as chief financial officer.
Huiban, who took charge of Lanvin’s day-to-day operations following the departure of managing director Thierry Andretta, reports to Wang and is the point person for the executive committee when the owner is not in Paris.
She is charged with ensuring the implementation of the strategic projects decided by the board and facilitating the coordination between different departments.
Sales at the company have been eroding since peaking at 235 million euros in 2012, according to a source. Last year, revenues fell 23 percent to 162 million euros, with a net loss of 18.3 million euros, marking the house’s first red ink in nearly a decade, with expectations of worsening losses this fiscal year.
In July, Bouchra Jarrar exited her position as creative director of the house’s women’s collections after just two seasons. She was replaced by Olivier Lapidus, a relative unknown, who will show his first collection on Sept. 27 during Paris Fashion Week. Lucas Ossendrijver remains artistic director for Lanvin men’s wear.
Several members of the board are said to have felt blindsided by Lapidus’ appointment. Investment banker Pierre Mallevays of Savigny Partners confirmed in July that he and minority shareholder Ralph Bartel have submitted letters of resignation to disassociate themselves from Wang’s decisions and governance.
As reported, it is understood Bartel and Mallevays had urged Wang to go through a proper process using professional advice from a talent search firm. One source said Wang also did not consult the board when she appointed Jarrar and Huiban.