After dalliances with Batman on menswear and Paris Hilton in its women’s campaign, Lanvin is turning toward sleek French chic, with winks to its couture heritage.
“Restoring elegance and sophistication to the everyday,” said Siddhartha Shukla, deputy general manager of the house and part of a new wave of business leaders with a strong background in product development and merchandising.
If Lanvin has long been synonymous with cocktail dresses for women, and recently with sneakers for men, given its immensely popular Curb model, Shukla is out to “extend the product strategy and assortment to address all moments of our customers’ lives.”
Its resort collections for women and men, unveiled at the brand’s stately Paris showroom this week, marked a step change in that direction. Six months into his tenure, Shukla said he’s fortified the design studio with key talents, and creative director Bruno Sialelli is expected to elaborate on the new fashion direction during Paris Fashion Week in October.
A showroom model filed in wearing a sampling of product categories: a black cocktail dress with dense beading on the bodice; a shapely tailored coat in a nubby tweed; a floor-length red gown with the ease of a sweater and a deep V carved in the back; a mannish pantsuit in a Japanese wool, and a new version of the “flying dress” pioneered by the late Alber Elbaz, here pleated and gathered at the shoulders, goddess style.
Shukla pointed to hardware on the clothes and shoes that echo elements of its new costume jewelry range, less whimsical and more architectural than previously, while angular metal clips on its new Concerto handbag were elements founder Jeanne Lanvin once used on clothes.
Clearly accustomed to dealing with department store buyers — Lanvin is still largely a wholesale-driven business — the executive, who was chief brand officer at Theory before joining Lanvin, also noted its new Swing heel for women comes in three heights.
New products are named after music, since the founder had an ear for it. An exception includes the tech-y Flash X sneaker, introduced for men last season and now offered for women.
Lanvin’s menswear, which has recently skewed casual, now spans the gamut from business suits in Super 150 wools and fine poplin shirts, to more fashion-forward tailoring with baggy pants, or a cashmere coat with a lavish embroidery on one chest panel.
Shukla hinted that the brand’s “comprehensive reset of its product strategy” would soon also be evident on its website, social channels and in future boutiques.