PARIS — Guillaume Henry’s fall collection for Nina Ricci, scheduled to be shown on Friday, will be his last for the label, WWD has learned.
Henry has decided to leave his position after three years as creative director of the French fashion house. The designer has reportedly grown frustrated by parent company Puig’s slowness to plug money into the label.
“He did not want to continue without guarantees that they would invest,” said a source with knowledge of the matter.
The house released a statement denying WWD’s report. “All the information stated within the news are pure speculation that do not respond to reality,” it said. “Any significant information about the brand is always adressed by the Nina Ricci press office.” Henry could not be reached.
The designer succeeded Peter Copping at the helm of the house, known for its refined, romantic creations and fragrances such as L’Air du Temps and Nina.
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, helping to relaunch it as a contemporary brand.
His designs for Nina Ricci have proved popular with celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Revenues at Puig rose 9 percent in 2016 to 1.79 billion euros, in the context of a relatively flat perfume business worldwide and despite tough times in emerging markets, especially Latin America, where it generated 44 percent of its sales. Net income for the Spanish group advanced 23 percent to 155 million euros.
In addition to Nina Ricci, the group owns fashion and fragrance brands such as Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier, and licensed perfume labels, including Prada, Valentino and Comme des Garçons. It is scheduled to publish its 2017 annual figures in April.
Puig has said it aims to break through the barrier of 2 billion euros in revenues. The group last year appointed José Manuel Albesa to steer all of its fashion houses, in addition to his role as chief brand officer. Fashion made up an estimated 9 percent of Puig’s business in early 2017.
Puig chairman and chief executive officer Marc Puig told WWD last year the company was focusing on organic growth.
“The way we see it, there’s a portfolio with a significant number of brands already, and within those brands there is the potential to keep growing in different [categories], whether it’s fragrance or fashion. Our main effort will be to focalize and prioritize the materialization of the potential for all the brands in the portfolio,” he said.
“Having said this, we are proactive, as we have been over the past few years. And when there are opportunities where we think we can create value if they are under our responsibility, we will pursue them. But we also believe that there’s no rush. We still have a lot of potential with the brands that we have in our portfolio,” he added.