There was a big shock when Bouchra Jarrar officially left Lanvin last week. She only spent a short 16 months at the storied house, and had just received Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of French’s highest honours. Starting today, Olivier Lapidus is taking Jarrar’s seat. According to report from Business of Fashion, Lapidus is tasked with making Lanvin “a French Michael Kors.” Although he is new to Lanvin, Lapidus has known Lanvin owner Shaw-Lan Wang for 33 years.
Lapidus was the Creative Director of Balmain Homme from 1985 – 86, before joining Maison Lapidus, the family’s fashion house founded by his father Ted Lapidus. The house notably designed clothes for The Beatles in their heyday. The house, however, closed down in 2000. Since then, Lapidus has worked with various partners, and recently established an online couture house, Creation Olivier Lapidus. Last month, he launched the “future couture” collection on Instagram.
In fact, Lapidus’ foray into online fashion was one of the deciding factors which landed him the offer at Lanvin. “When we began discussions, Lanvin was interested by my [Internet] approach. New technologies can be very pertinent for the oldest couture house in France,” he said to Vogue, adding, “Clearly there is something innovative to tap there in terms of positioning and communications.”
Besides appointing a new creative director, Lanvin is also relocating its atelier. Originally located at rue Boissy d’Anglas, Paris, where founder Jeanne Lanvin started her atelier in 1889, it is moving to the suburban Levallois at the end of the year. It is the start of a new era at Lanvin indeed.
But it is not all new things at the storied house, with Lapidus determined to relive Jeanne Lanvin’s legacy. In a statement to Vogue, Lapidus said: “My DNA is couture. I see the value in Jeanne Lanvin; I want to speak to the person she is and mine her DNA. I want to explore techniques and detail and give the brand meaning. We must get back to the fundamentals. There’s a story to tell at Lanvin. In all modesty, I’d like to say that I’m going to do Jeanne by the book.”