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The Spring 2018 shows are still months away, but the ever-dizzying game of designer musical chairs may have already started up again: WWD is reporting that designer Bouchra Jarrar is leaving Lanvin after only 15 months.
Jarrar shuttered her own brand to work at Lanvin in March 2016. Though a talented couturier who was recently granted the honor of being named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, Jarrar's two collections for the brand have not been particularly well-received commercially. In June, reports swirled that Lanvin's sales were in a free fall, slumping 23 percent last year alone.
The French fashion house has been troubled since firing creative director Alber Elbaz in 2015. Now, the friction seems to be coming from the top down, with majority shareholder Shaw-Lan Wang reportedly refusing outside investments and rumored tensions existing between Jarrar and the company's chief executive officer Michèle Huiban. The house also recently tapped advisory firm Long Term Partners to perform an audit; as a result, Business of Fashion reports that the company now has plans to carry out a small round of layoffs and close nonprofitable stores, as well as to create a "leather goods line for fashion outlets."
Lanvin came under fire in February for its casting practices, with claims that the brand asked not to be presented with any models of color for its fashion show. (Lanvin denied this claim, but ultimately featured only two black and two Asian models.)
Lanvin did not respond to requests for comment.
UPDATE, July 6, 3:30 p.m.: Both Lanvin and Bouchra Jarrar confirmed the split to Vogue, saying in a joint statement:
Lanvin and Bouchra Jarrar have mutually decided to put an end to their collaboration. This decision is effective as of today. Madame Wang wishes to thank Bouchra Jarrar, who since her arrival brought her talent to serve the company. Bouchra Jarrar thanks Madame Wang for her trust. She wishes most particularly to acknowledge the work of the teams with whom she collaborated to express creativity and French know-how. Bouchra Jarrar will now concentrate on new projects.
UPDATE, July 10, 1:15 p.m.: Well, that was fast. WWD reports that Lanvin has already hired Bouchra Jarrar's replacement, effective immediately: Olivier Lapidus has been named the new artistic director of the French luxury house. Lapidus is the son of Ted Lapidus, who dressed The Beatles. Most recently, Lapidus launched "Creation Olivier Lapidus," which he claims to be the first e-commerce based couture house, doing everything from runway shows to fittings online.
Sources quoted by Business of Fashion claim that Lapidus's hire is part of an effort to turn Lanvin into "the French Michael Kors."