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Viktor & Rolf to Discontinue Ready-to-Wear

That makes two French labels ditching ready-to-wear to focus on couture and fragrances. Do we smell a trend?
The finale at Viktor & Rolf's spring 2015 couture show. Photo: Imaxtree

The finale at Viktor & Rolf's spring 2015 couture show. Photo: Imaxtree

It's probably every couturier's dream: to spend all his time getting inspired and creating the most artistic, quixotic confections that he can conceive of while his licensed fragrances rake in the cash. And that dream has become a reality for not one, but two French labels this year.

Shortly after Jean Paul Gaultier announced that he had shuttered his ready-to-wear business, Viktor & Rolf announced plans to do the same. According to a press release sent out Tuesday, fall 2015 will be the final season of ready-to-wear for the house. However, it will not stage a runway show at Paris Fashion Week. "We feel a strong need to refocus on our artistic roots," said Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren in a joint statement. "We have always used fashion to communicate, it is our primary means of artistic expression. Ready-to-wear (with its fast pace, many deadlines and fierce competition) started to feel creatively restricting. By letting go of it, we gain more time and freedom." Renzo Ross, president of OTB Group, which bought Viktor & Rolf in 2008, described the move as a "strategic decision to position the Viktor & Rolf brand in the highest luxury segment of fashion."

Like Gaultier, Horsting and Snoeren will focus on designing couture while building upon Viktor & Rolf's successful fragrance and eyewear businesses, which are licensed to L'Oreal and Paget Group, respectively. Given that the brand likely sells a whole lot more bottles of Flowerbomb than it does leather swan shorts each season, this is probably not a bad decision.

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Cover image: Imaxtree