BILL BLASS SET TO NAME DESIGNER
NEW YORK — Bill Blass is reportedly aiming to tap Vera Wang’s design director, Herve Pierre Braillard, to join Lars Nilsson at the helm of the designer collection.
Sources close to Blass said Braillard, who shares a European resume with Nilsson — the designers were acquainted from their previous working days in Paris — is expected to join Blass shortly.
A spokesman for Vera Wang declined to comment, while executives at Bill Blass were unavailable on Wednesday, as was Braillard.
What Braillard’s title at Bill Blass would be is unclear. Nilsson was named head designer at the house last month in a surprise shakeup that led to the ouster of Steven Slowik and the cancellation of Blass’s fall runway show. The company said at the time that it would assemble a team of designers to work with Nilsson.
Braillard’s background includes design duties for Pierre Balmain in Paris, where he was hired by Oscar de la Renta to join his signature company in New York a few years ago. He has a reputation for creating fanciful evening clothes, which would act as an appropriate foil to Nilsson’s strength in modern, tailored daywear.
Following the critical response to Slowik’s debut for Blass with his spring collection, the company is looking to return to a more classical Blass collection that combines his signature elements of men’s tailoring and fabrics, American sportswear and glamorous evening clothes.