Rochas Reopens


It was a sad day when Proctor & Gamble shuttered Rochas two years ago.  (The perfume is still produced.)

At the time, Olivier Theyskens was spinning his creative wheels as head designer at the storied French label. But the losses were significant enough to force the closure, leaving the genius of Theyskens unharnessed until he found his current home at Nina Ricci.

But news just broke (via WWD) that Rochas will have new life breathed into it, following a licensing deal with Gibo SpA, and Italian company, that will have a global licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute ready-to-wear clothes under the label.

Expect to see the first collection in March 2009.

To jog your memory, note the picture above of Kirsten Dunst at the Cannes Film Festival, in a ladylike dove grey dress that sparked controversy for its buttoned-up look. Kirsten may not have picked the best dress color to suit her hair that day, but the dress was refreshing for its unusual and incredibly flattering silhouette.

While Rochas is perhaps a lesser known brand in the U.S., the brand resonates loudly in Europe. One French woman, Alice Quillet, put it like this: “When I was growing up, the brand always stood for French elegance, sophistication, timelessness. I’ve always thought of it as the French Balenciaga and I really thought Theyskens was going to do for it what [Nicolas] Ghesquiere did for Balenciaga. He could have had that kind of success had he’d been given more time and more money.”

Gibo SpA hasn’t announced who will head the design team, but they certainly have big shoes to fill. And perhaps Marco Zanini (formerly of Halston, trained at Versace) will step into them….