PARIS — Followers of Olympia Le-Tan will have seen that in August the designer vacated her Paris apartment to move to New York. And she’s settled in fast.
The French accessories designer, known for her whimsical hand-embroidered book clutches, has joined the design team of Marc Jacobs, WWD has learned. Her title could not immediately be learned.
A company spokesman confirmed the hire, while noting there are no plans to revive the Marc by Marc Jacobs line, last helmed by Luella Bartley and accessories genius Katie Hillier. “We are excited to have Olympia join Marc’s design team. We have a talented group of designers and look for people who bring new sensibilities and ideas to help bring Marc’s vision to life,” he said.
The move marks a new chapter for Le-Tan, who in July announced on Instagram that she was leaving the brand that carries her name. Le-Tan had quietly dropped off the Paris Fashion Week calendar last fall after being placed into receivership. Though Le-Tan never divulged details, it is understood she is losing the rights to her name after parting ways with Gregory Bernard, the French producer behind films including “Lagerfeld Confidential,” who helped her set up her house in 2009.
“Unfortunately, like all journeys, there are obstacles along the way. As strange as this may sound, effective immediately, I am no longer affiliated with the Olympia Le-Tan brand. But I am sure the next chapter is soon to come and will be just as enchanting and exciting. I will still personally be posting all kinds of stuff about my life, my friends and my work on this page, as I always have,” she said.
In 2012 the designer launched a pin-up inspired ready-to-wear line, followed by her first and only store just behind the Palais-Royal in Paris in 2014. The space featured walls clad in a printed monogram fabric designed by her father, illustrator Pierre Le-Tan, who provided all the prints for the collections.
The following year, she received a cash injection of 1 million euros from French investment firm Audacia to expand her range of products and reinforce her e-commerce site, as reported.
Le-Tan’s last collection was shown in March 2017, and was followed by a Minnie Mouse-themed capsule collection for Japanese retailer Uniqlo, as well as a makeup range with Lancôme last fall.
Le-Tan’s hire suggests the design team is still in flux. Last April, Marc Jacobs International said it was parting ways after two-and-a-half months with John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, who had been hired as creative director of the contemporary division.
Le-Tan has long been on Jacobs’ radar: He sells her book-shaped bags at his Bookmarc store in New York, and some are still in stock.