NEW RECRUIT: Peter Copping, the seasoned British designer who has helmed Oscar de la Renta and Nina Ricci, quietly joined the design studio of Balenciaga as it resumed making couture under acclaimed creative director Demna Gvasalia, according to market sources.
A spokesman for Balenciaga said the house doesn’t comment on the composition of its studio. Copping could not immediately be reached for comment and his exact function could not be learned.
The designer was spotted at the black-tie dinner Balenciaga hosted on July 7 to toast its return to the high-fashion calendar after a 53-year absence.
Since exiting Oscar de la Renta in 2016, Copping had largely devoted himself to interiors projects: contributing to Architectural Digest France; curating sales of English and European antiques for Christie’s London, and co-designing a range of high-end cushions and throws inspired by his and Rambert Rigaud’s 15th-century manor in Normandy, France.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins in London, Copping worked for several years in the design studios of Sonia Rykiel before being recruited by Marc Jacobs as his first assistant in 1997 when Louis Vuitton expanded into ready-to-wear. Copping remained at Vuitton until 2009, when he was recruited as creative director of Nina Ricci, moving over to de la Renta five years later.
Gvasalia received wide acclaim for his Balenciaga couture debut, which spanned from padded T-shirts and stiff jeans to evening gowns inspired by the legendary founder.
Gvasalia is now putting couture “at the top of the pyramid” of his creative vision, meaning the ideas and concepts introduced there will trickle down into other product lines. “When you work on something like this, it’s so strong that it really impacts your general creative thinking,” he told WWD in a recent interview.
Balenciaga chief executive officer Cédric Charbit said the house discovered it was “meaningful and significant” for skilled artisans to be approached by Balenciaga. “We had no difficulty creating a team that I think is world class,” Charbit said, though he declined to give any names or detail their backgrounds.