PARIS — A new year, a new fashion house for rising French fashion designer Guillaume Henry.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 35-year-old, who made a name for himself revving up Carven and giving it a youthful élan, is to join Nina Ricci as its new creative director effective Jan. 5 and show his first collection for the fall 2015 season.
This confirms a report in WWD on Sept. 26 that Henry was stepping down from Carven after a fruitful five-year collaboration and headed to Ricci. He is to succeed Peter Copping, who is expected to take up a lead design role at Oscar de la Renta in New York.
Ralph Toledano, president of Puig fashion division, Ricci’s parent, said Henry’s arrival foreshadows “great ambitions for the brand” that would be fueled by his “artistic vision, intuition, intelligence, charisma and curiosity.
“We intend to give a clear picture of the Ricci woman, of her attitude, her silhouette,” he added. “She is definitely a woman of her time, working but with an active social and night life. We want to address her needs 24/7.”
Toledano noted that Henry arrives just as Ricci’s leather goods business is gaining traction, showing “excellent sell throughs and promise.”
The company plans to re-launch its footwear business for the spring 2016 season.
After graduating from the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, Henry completed a postgraduate program in design at the Institut Français de la Mode.
He worked in the studios of Givenchy and Paule Ka before taking the creative helm of Carven in 2009.
Henry is to remain in his post until the end of November and Carven chief executive officer Henri Sebaoun is in talks with several potential successors, as reported.
In the decade before Copping, Ricci saw a number of designers come and go: Nathalie Gervais, Massimo Giussani, James Aguiar, Lars Nilsson and Olivier Theyskens.
An industry veteran, Toledano was brought in by Puig in 2012 and tasked with making the Spanish fragrance specialist a more formidable player in the fashion world.
He conducted an extensive review of Ricci’s internal organization and processes, and made several key hires, including Sophie Templier, accessories director.
In an interview, earlier this year, he hinted at changes: “We are putting in place proper ammunition to go to the next level, but it’s a work in progress.”