The circle is complete.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the string of musical chairs that hit Paris fashion this season, Oscar de la Renta has confirmed it has appointed Peter Copping creative director, as WWD first reported Sept. 12.
The fashion house noted that Copping will begin his new role Nov. 3 with the responsibility of setting “the design direction across all product categories reporting to Oscar de la Renta and Alex Bolen, the company’s chief executive officer.” Copping’s first collection for de la Renta will be for the fall 2015 season in February. This is the first time de la Renta has hired a designer in this capacity.
The official word from de la Renta is a foregone conclusion, as the news of Copping’s appointment was all but confirmed in subsequent weeks after the initial WWD report. Nina Ricci, where Copping has been artistic director for five years, confirmed his exit Oct. 3, naming his successor, Guillaume Henry of Carven, last week. Rumors that Copping and de la Renta were mulling employment contracts had been circulating since earlier this year, as de la Renta, 82, has been openly searching for a potential collaborator and successor for the business he established in 1965 for a while, even testing a design partnership with John Galliano last year.
The company stressed that de la Renta will maintain an active role in his business. “I’m very happy Peter has agreed to join us. He is a great talent and along with our shared design sensibilities, we both have a deep curiosity about the wider world, from music and art to architecture and gardens,” said de la Renta. “Our industry has not always done the best job when it comes to changes in design leadership. My hope is that, in leading this selection, and actively participating in the transition, I can ensure the right design future for our company and brand.”
Known for his romantic, ladylike designs, Copping’s appointment makes sense from an aesthetic standpoint. Prior to Nina Ricci, he spent 12 years at Louis Vuitton as Marc Jacobs’ studio director, and also held positions at Sonia Rykiel and Christian Lacroix. Copping was born in England and graduated from the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins in London. His new position will require moving to New York. “After a career of 20 years in Paris, this is an important next step for me,” said Copping. “Oscar de la Renta has defined American elegance for generations of women, and the opportunity to work with him and help ensure the future of the brand is very exciting.”