Underscoring the crucial role of creative events and unique storytelling in the luxury sector, Dior has promoted its longtime communications executive Olivier Bialobos to deputy managing director in charge of global communication and image, WWD has learned.
It’s a new role reporting to Delphine Arnault, who in February moved over from Louis Vuitton to become chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture.
“I am delighted to be able to rely on Olivier’s great talent, expertise and commitment to accompany the house of Dior and its development in the coming years,” Arnault said in an internal announcement shared exclusively with WWD.
A 17-year veteran of the French fashion firm, Bialobos most recently served as One Dior chief communication and image officer, with oversight of the French house’s fashion and beauty activities.
Before that, his title was chief communication and image officer of Christian Dior Couture.
“For many years, Olivier has made an essential contribution to the image of Dior, notably through exceptional fashion shows, exhibitions and global events,” added Charles Delapalme, managing director of Christian Dior Couture.
Delapalme went on to call Bialobos “one of the strong pillars of the house.”
It is understood Bialobos will continue to have purview over all categories, from fashion and jewelry to beauty, to cultivate coherence across all brand expressions. For beauty matters, he reports to Véronique Courtois, who recently took the helm of Parfums Christian Dior.
Bialobos joined Dior in 2006 to head up the brand’s global communications effort, and nimbly shaped and shepherded the house image amid a succession of creative directors and CEOs. Early in his tenure he established Dior Héritage, the archive that allowed the brand to mount multiple exhibitions worldwide, and helped create its permanent Galerie Dior, a museum attached to the revamped 30 Avenue Montaigne flagship.
According to sources, the museum attracted more than 400,000 visitors in its first year of operation.
Meanwhile, the “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” showcase has logged successful runs in Paris, New York, London, Dallas, Shanghai and Chengdu, China, and is now on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
Bialobos also lent his creative touch to innumerable Dior events, from its gingerbread-themed takeover of Harrods late last year to the pre-fall men’s show last December against a backdrop of the pyramids of Giza near Cairo.
He also launched the in-house Dior Magazine, which just published its 41st issue. It includes a feature and photo shoot with its jewelry ambassador Elizabeth Debicki.
Over the past five years, Bialobos quietly headed up the Dior Maison business unit, dreaming up table displays to outshine state or royal dinners, and unfurling high-profile collaborations with the likes of Philippe Starck, who last year put his inimitable spin on the maison’s signature medallion chair. He will continue in that capacity as well.
A popular and dapper figure on the French fashion scene, Bialobos started his career in communications at Escada, going on to become director of the KCD agency in Paris and spearheading the fashion and beauty communications strategy for Yves Saint Laurent alongside Tom Ford.
He went on to become director of press and international public relations at YSL, his last job before joining Dior.