PARIS — The clash between Rifat Ozbek and Thierry Mugler over show times this season has apparently been smoothed over after talks among the two houses, model agencies and the Chambre Syndicale.
As reported, the conflict started when Mugler decided to stage an unscheduled private show at 4 p.m. on March 16 — exactly the same time as Ozbek’s officially scheduled runway event — and block-booked more than 50 top models for most of the day.
London-based Ozbek was outraged by Mugler’s move but has agreed to start his show a half-hour earlier, at 3:30 p.m., while Mugler will delay his until 5.
“We’ve been able to reach an amicable resolution. It’s a great relief,” said Cindy White, Ozbek’s sales director, who noted that the Chambre Syndicale had confirmed that Ozbek could reschedule his show. The deal will give Ozbek his choice of top models, including Naomi Campbell, who has done every Ozbek show since she was 15 years old, said White.
A spokeswoman for Mugler said a final decision had not been made, but other houses showing that day said they had been notified of the Mugler time change. Mugler’s officially scheduled show for buyers and press will remain at 8.30 that evening. Mugler president Didier Grumbach said that his house’s early show was always intended to be restricted to suppliers and friends of the designer. “If we had invited buyers and journalists then everyone would have had the right to complain,” he said, noting that this season is Mugler’s 20th anniversary in fashion and that the house wanted to celebrate in a big way. “But there was never a question of any journalist or buyer missing from Rifat’s show.”
Grumbach said Mugler had block-booked so many models so he could guarantee his shows would begin on time. He quoted Thierry Mugler as saying: “I don’t oblige any models to show with me, but if they do I expect them to be there on time.”