Diane von Furstenberg and DVF creative director Yvan Mispelaere may have been all smiles on the runway when they took their bows at the Spring 2013 show–but clearly there was more going on underneath the surface than meets the eye (or the Google goggle). Just 48 hours after the DVF spring 2013 show, Yvan Mispelaere is “stepping down from his post effective immediately,” WWD is reporting.
“I am so grateful for the contributions Yvan brought to DVF and fully support him as he takes the next step in his career,” von Furstenberg told the trade. “Yvan joined us almost three years ago and has added enormous value. He also put together a highly skilled design team to support our growth both in fashion and accessories.”
The departure comes just three weeks after Joel Horowitz, an industry exec who had a hand in turning Tommy Hilfiger into a multi-channel success, joined the company as co-chair. Perhaps Horowitz and Mispelaere didn’t see eye to eye, or perhaps Mispelaere is moving on to another project. Maybe, too, von Furstenberg merely wanted full control of her brand’s aesthetic again–Mispelare will not be replaced, and the design team will now be lead completely by von Furstenberg.
Whatever the case, both parties claim that the split is amicable. In a company statement released Tuesday, Mispelaere said:
“I came to DVF to help further the brand’s mission and create a world-class design team. I am confident we have been able to achieve that during my time with the company. I can’t thank Diane enough for the opportunity to work with her and such talented people. The group is now well-positioned for even greater success, and I am eager to take on my next challenge.”
Mispelaere’s exit also comes at a time when the company is said to be expanding and perhaps even eyeing an IPO. “We are at the perfect stage for even greater worldwide growth,” Von Furstenberg said a few weeks ago. But for whatever reason, looks like those plans for growth don’t include Mispelaere.