A new era continues to take shape at DVF.
This story first appeared in the February 13, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Marc Menesguen, formerly president of L’Oréal Consumer Products Division, will be named cochairman at the brand Monday. His appointment at DVF was born from his friendship with founder Diane von Furstenberg.
“We are neighbors in Paris — we know each other very well,” Menesguen remarked from the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York on Saturday, where creative director Jonathan Saunders was presenting his fall collection for the brand. “We discussed it one day, and she said ‘Why not come aboard DVF?’ because she knew I was just about to leave L’Oréal after 30 years.” Menesguen announced his retirement from the beauty giant in April. “And I thought it was a great idea, because the brand has tremendous potential. The industry is a little bit under pressure, disrupted and it’s a great time to reinvent the business model. And so she proposed me to be cochairman with her, and I accepted.”
Menesguen’s appointment comes several months after former chief executive officer Paolo Riva resigned from DVF in November, after 18 months at the brand. At the time, von Furstenberg told WWD that she didn’t plan to replace Riva and would fortify her board with some “high-level, quality people.” Saunders was named creative director in May, which allowed von Furstenberg to step back from the day-to-day work of a full-time creative director.
“We are very lucky to have Jonathan Saunders, first of all, because he’s a great designer, he has a fantastic creative vision. Even more than that, he’s very business-minded,” said Menesguen. “He’s passionate, he’s a very hard worker…an amazing driving force for the brand,” he said. “Of course Diane is always there, she’s inspiring us, she’s an amazing person — she’s a role model, she’s really the soul of the company. She’s the soul of the brand. All of that is giving a lot of assets and strengths for reinventing the business model for the 21st century.”
Menesguen called attention to the accessories from the new collection — and given that he brings with him 30 years of experience at L’Oréal, could a beauty push be on the horizon? “Who knows?” Menesguen replied. “One day — I don’t know. For the time being it’s not the priority, but why not?”
Von Furstenberg also stopped by the gallery to congratulate Saunders and take in the collection on Sunday, holding court away from the models and in a side exhibit space where pieces from the collection were on display. “I’m staying out of [the main room] so I don’t take too much space,” she said.