DUFOUR TO LEAVE BALMAIN

Byline: Sarah Raper

PARIS — Balmain issued a statement on Friday that Gilles Dufour would be leaving the house after three collections, confirming a report in these pages on March 20.
Executives said his contract was terminated because of outfits in the recent runway show that were emblazoned “Whore” and “Bitch.”
No replacement was named, said Balmain managing director Georgina Brandolini. “There will definitely be a collection in October, but right now, I don’t know who will design it.”
Dufour worked under a renewable season-to-season contract. He could not be reached for comment, and his future plans were unclear.
“Look, the major reason he is leaving is that management got very upset about the Balmain ‘Whore’ and Balmain ‘Bitch,”‘ Brandolini said. “We had calls from stores and from press. I was quite surprised, myself. I didn’t see these looks before the show.”
“There are other problems, but that is the main one,” she continued. Dufour, who spent 15 years running the studio for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, started at Balmain in 1998, replacing Andrew Gn, whose contract ended after only one season at the house.
Dufour is well liked and has a talent for knits — he long had a hand in Chanel’s success with sweaters and twinsets — but at Balmain, his three collections earned only lukewarm reviews. Still, each season, certain items, like his pantone sequined skirt, were published widely by leading fashion magazines.

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