News broke yesterday that Derek Lam was leaving his post as creative director of Tod's after 5 plus years. This morning a follow up story in WWD confirmed that fall 2012 Tod's collection was indeed Lam's last collection for the brand but neither party has yet commented. Which leaves things completely open for rumor and speculation.
In a rather off-handed way, WWD dropped this little nugget:
Lam’s departure coincides with continued speculation that John Galliano was in talks with the Italian firm to either do a Tod’s capsule collection or revamp its Schiaparelli brand. However, Della Valle firmly dismissed the rumors.
Um, what? So now Galliano is talking to Tod's? First of all, let's reiterate that Della Valle "dismissed" the rumors. So this is entirely speculation. But after doing a bit of digging, this is the first time we've seen Galliano's name linked with Tod's chairman Diego Della Valle. Harper's Bazaar UK published a similar tidbit this morning:
Speculation is mounting that John Galliano may make his return to fashion by revamping the Tod’s’ Schiaparelli brand or may even lend his name to a capsule collection.
Della Valle purchased the Schiaparelli trademark back in 2007, and since then, there has been lots of guessing about when he might try to revive the label and who he would tap as creative director. Back in 2009 WWD reported that he wouldn't try to revive the house until at least 2011. Olivier Theyskens and Roland Mouret were both rumored to be in the running for the creative director spot. Anna Wintour even weighed in in 2010, in that New Yorker article about the Rodarte designers: "The Mulleavys are ripe for a house who might be looking for a designer. A place like Schiaparelli, which is just sitting there waiting for the economy to be better — I think they'd be perfect for that."
In light of the fact that the Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit is about to open at the Met, it seems like the perfect time to relaunch the iconic brand. And it may sneakily be happening already. From a lengthy profile on Della Valle in Hong Kong-based magazine Prestige:
Della Valle knows his designer stuff since he’s in the midst of selecting a creative director to head up the Schiaparelli brand, for which a revival is planned this year. “When we’re finished developing and expanding Vivier, we’ll start with Schiaparelli,” he says. “This is the last challenge, to develop this brand.”
Back in December, WWD talked to Della Valle and tried to get some scoop about Schiaparelli but he was not very chatty about it, telling the trade "his company is working on the project but not ready to talk about it."
We could see Galliano at the helm of this label whose founder was known for her eccentric designs. What do you think of this development? And how exciting is it that Schiaparelli may be close to a relaunch?