We do not need the designer in the classic sense, for us, because I think that figure has become, except in some cases, a bit of a hindrance to projects.
– Diego Della Valle, President and CEO of Tod’s, an Italian leather goods brand.
Yes, this is the latest trend in corporate-run fashion brands.
For a bit of history: In the late 1980s corporations went on a shopping spree, recognizing the cache of faded fashion houses – Dior, Givenchy, Lanvin to name a few. Then they searched for up-and-coming designers. The modern approach and edgy looks of Alber Elbaz and Alexander McQueen for example, plus a big marketing budget, revitalized these fashion names and turned the houses into popular global brands. Once that goal was achieved (and designers began pushing back on the increasing demands made upon them) it seems the corporations have decided that “the designer” isn’t needed anymore. It can be done by inside managers and CEOs and perhaps a stable of creatives who keep it all going, minus any credit or the big bucks.
Well now, let’s see how that works out.