PARIS — Christine Phung is poised to take over as director of creation at French fashion label Leonard, which has been without a head designer since parting ways with Yiqing Yin late last year, WWD has learned.
Leonard managing director Nathalie Tribouillard-Chassaing confirmed the appointment, though she said it was premature to announce it as Phung had not yet arrived at the house. “She will probably take over as director of creation with us from the end of May, and until further notice, she is keeping her brand,” she said.
Phung could not immediately be reached for comment. A graduate of the Institut Français de la Mode, she launched her own label in 2011 and has worked as a freelance designer for brands including Vanessa Bruno, Baby Dior, See by Chloé and Lacoste.
In 2013, she won the ANDAM First Collections Award, securing financial support and a spot on the official Parisian show calendar for her first runway show, which was held at French department store chain Galeries Lafayette’s Paris flagship. Last year, she collaborated with French mail-order giant La Redoute on a capsule collection.
Phung will report to Daniel Tribouillard, founder and artistic director of the brand, famed for its colorful prints. “I think she has enough personality and talent to succeed in making our collections evolve,” said Tribouillard-Chassaing. “She looks like she knows how to assert herself with elegance.”
She will be the fourth designer at the house since Véronique Leroy left in 2011 after eight years at the helm. The label has struggled to find the right balance between commerce and creativity as it seeks to appeal to a new generation of customers.
Going forward, Leonard plans to integrate its runway and commercial collections, which in the past were kept separate, but it will maintain a show during Paris Fashion Week, Tribouillard-Chassaing said.