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Who Should Design for the New Schiaparelli? Our Suggestions

Our list is a mix of rumored candidates, speculations and suggestions from other editors and designers, and some people we just think might be interesting.
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We wish one of the

John Galliano The disgraced former Dior designer was one of the

Miuccia Prada This is not very likely to actually happen; but comparisons between Prada and Schiaparelli have been so strong, there was an actual Met exhibit dedicated to them, so...maybe?

Haider Ackermann Ackermann first popped into our heads as a possibility when he was one of few designers to attend the re-opening party for Maison Schiaparelli. He’s also been the subject of rumors placing him at Chanel and Dior. We think his elegant eccentricity would befit the Schiaparelli brand quite well, though he definitely wouldn’t want to have to create under someone else’s vision or aesthetic guidelines (but neither would Schiaparelli).

Jean Paul Gaultier Farida Khelfa, Schiaparelli’s recently-appointed spokesperson, was a longtime model/muse for Gaultier and even directed a documentary about him last year. Aside from that pre-existing relationship, Gaultier’s flare for the rebellious and imaginative could be interesting at Schiaparelli.

Derek Lam Lam’s definitely not an obvious choice, but we couldn't help but wonder if his sudden departure from Della Valle’s other company Tod’s could be chalked up to the luxury mogul's desire to put him in charge of Schiaparelli instead. He's a great designer, and his wares sometimes have a surrealist vibe so we’ll just throw that one out there.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy Elsa Schiaparelli saw fashion as art and was often influenced by and collaborated with artists. The same can be said of Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy. If they did ever decide to take over a fashion house,--though it doesn’t really seem like their style--we could definitely see it being this one. They also have Anna Wintour’s endorsement. In a New Yorker article from 2010, she said, “The Mulleavys (Rodarte) 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.”

Olivier Theyskens Theyskens was rumored to be in the running for the Schiaparelli job back in 2009, after he parted ways with Nina Ricci, but before he landed Theory. Much of his work has felt Schiaparelli-esque, especially while he was at Rochas (a house he successfully revived)--elegant, classic silhouettes with appliques and unlikely details.

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Iris Apfel She’s not technically a designer and she may be a commit to a new full-time position, but

Manish Arora If Maison Schiaparelli wants to take the aesthetic in a more avant garde, over-the-top direction, Arora would be a good choice. He recently parted ways with Paco Rabanne after two seasons, bringing the house back into the spotlight with a little help from celebs like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

Bill Gaytten Gaytten’s resort 2013 collections was inspired by, in addition to the Fannings, surrealist art. He has some time freed up now that Raf Simons is at Dior, and maybe he’s just over being a John Galliano backup plan.

Markus Lupfer While not as established as some other names on this list, Lupfer’s designs often have a surrealist feel and are always fun and a bit playful. He executes those designs with increasing skill and maturity each season.

Christian Lacroix The iconic couturier suffered financial woes and left his namesake house in 2009 to many sad fans. He’s dabbled in design since then--most notably with a collection for Italian high street brand Desigual (likely in the interest of turning a profit), but his fans would surely love to see him stage a full-scale comeback and a Schiaparelli takeover might be a good way to do it.

Jonathan Saunders A young, fresh British designer like Jonathan Saunders could breath new life into the Schiaparelli brand. Known for his masterful prints and architectural shapes, Saunders is full of talent and energy and strays just enough from convention to potentially be a great fit.

Mary Katrantzou Another designer with an obvious eye for the surreal (and an amazing eye in general for fabric, print, color, cut etc.), Katrantzou’s designs are often described as artful and she, like Schiaparelli, has been known to use a little trompe l’oeil here and there. She could bring fun, conceptual, expertly-constructed designs to the Schiaparelli house. We feel like that would make us and them very happy.

Consuelo Castiglioni Of the female Italian designers, Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni’s quirky, artful aesthetic and approach to designing for women are probably most in line with Schiaparelli's. She’s also great with accessories and has a knack for creating “signature” pieces.

Rodolfo Paglialunga After resurrecting Vionnet in 2006, Paglialunga amicably parted ways with the French luxury label just last year. While he was there, he showed his knack for understated glamour and couture-like details, as well as an ability to successfully take the history of an old house and update it for the modern woman. His collections, both for his namesake label and Vionnet, have had surrealist influences and eye-catching accessories.