… houses have become brands, administered by ceo’s; some are parts of great luxury groups, brands unto themselves. Their operating principle (if not the price of their wares) is practically Marxist: The brand is supreme. The individual exists for the good of the brand.
– Bridget Foley, Executive Editor for Women’s Wear Daily
In her WWD column on June 28th 2012, Ms. Foley discusses the issue of corporations buying closed fashion houses and then hiring designers to help set the tone and style of the new brand sporting the old name. The designer becomes all about the brand.
I’ve been following this trend and the latest is Diego Della Valle’s purchase of the Schiaparelli name. Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer popular from the late 1920s through the 1940s. Her house closed in 1954. Vinatge Schiaparelli pieces are highly collectable.
Mr. Valle is President and CEO of Tod’s, a high-end Italian shoe and handbag company. As of now, the new Schiaparelli brand has set up offices in NYC and they are in the process of looking for a designer. The intent is to unveil the reinvented line in January 2013. How ironic that the Schiaparelli name, one of the first to blend art with fashion back in the 1930s, will now be a corporate brand. It will be interesting to see how the hired designer will rework the distinctive Schiaparelli style for a modern audience.