Despite the many, many rumors we’ve heard which point to Givenchy designer Ricardo Tisci as Galliano’s likely replacement at Dior, a new report suggests the label might be going in a different direction.
A think piece in today’s WWD–highlighting the trend of unknown designers at big established fashion houses (see Ling Lui and Dawei Sun at Cacharel, Olivier Rousteing at Balmain and Bill Gaytten at Galliano)–suggests that Dior will follow the trend. “Christian Dior, having seen its brand momentum continue despite the ousting of John Galliano last March, is said to be mulling having a lesser-known person take up the couture reins,” WWD reports, adding the caveat, “if it doesn’t poach a household name from a rival house.”
While that may be true, our gut–and our sources–still point towards Tisci. What the article fails to clearly convey is that this appointment is not about a name. It’s not about being unknown. It’s about talent.
If Bernard Arnault thinks that someone can make him a lot of money, he doesn’t give a hoot about any of this other stuff. Look at Phoebe Philo at Celine. Sure, we all think of her as a superstar, but she’s not a household name, per se. She’s just a really talented designer. And in general, her work has little to do with the brand’s heritage. (Which, as an old-money French friend tells us, is virtually nil. “Celine is nothing compared to Chanel. It’s what the nouveau riche ladies used to wear in the ’70s.”)
What’s more, Dior has struggled with brand identity since Dior himself died. Indeed, the label only really has a 10-year history to draw upon. While YSL created the trapeze dress while heading it up, Marc Bohan had quite a long career there, and Galliano was able to make the brand quite a lot of money, Dior still suffers from an issue with…maintaining a certain taste level.
Dior is too big of a brand to let this dangle for very long, so we still expect an announcement sometime this fall.