Azzaro Couture Spring 2019

PARISLoris Azzaro is parting ways with Maxime Simoëns after two years, the company said Monday.

The French designer was named artistic director of the house in 2017, overseeing its couture collections, ready-to-wear lines and men’s and women’s accessories. He presented his last collection for Azzaro, inspired by Studio 54, during Paris Couture Week in January.

“The couture house of Azzaro and its artistic director Maxime Simoëns are announcing the end of their partnership [after] four seasons. Azzaro thanks him for his contribution [to] the renewal of the house,” the brand said in a statement.

Azzaro said it would present a collection during the next couture week in July, but did not provide additional details.

Celebrity fans of Simoëns’ sexy and graphic dresses include Mélanie Laurent, Rachel McAdams, Beyoncé, Léa Seydoux and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

A graduate of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Simoëns in the early stages of his career was hailed as a wunderkind after making the shortlist for the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography in 2008, at age 25, with Bernard Arnault making an investment in his fledgling business in 2012.

Since joining the calendar in 2011, his presence has been patchy, however. Having experimented with showing in the couture and rtw schedules, Simoëns in January 2015 said he was taking a pause with his signature collection, and parted ways with his high-profile backer.

In 2016, he reemerged with the launch of his urban men’s sportswear label, dubbed M.X. Maxime Simoëns.

Azzaro, which is owned by the Andorra-based private equity firm Reig Capital Group, last year celebrated its 50th anniversary with a temporary retrospective in a wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Gabriel de Linage, who took over as chief executive officer in 2016, has segmented the collections into three categories: Azzaro Couture, the “spinal column” of the house; the relaunched premium women’s and men’s rtw lines, and a diffusion line geared to the French market that’s managed by partners.

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