Take Note Dior: Balmain’s New Designer Promoted From Within


Balmain stayed true to its word when it said that they would announce Christophe Decarnin‘s successor in a timely manner. WWD is reporting that Olivier Rousteing, one of Decarnin’s right-hand men at Balmain, is in line to assume the position of creative director at the French fashion house. Rousteing has worked at Balmain since 2009, and the house is sticking to its original plan to promote an internal candidate instead of bringing in another famous designer.

WWD also brings up the point that “promoting a number two has become a popular succession strategy in fashion in recent years as the importance of star designers has waned.” The most recent example of this is Sarah Burton‘s appointment as creative director after Alexander McQueen passed away, and the transition between the collections was as seamless and graceful as it could have possibly been.

Burton worked alongside McQueen for 13 years, and was completely familiar with the DNA of the brand. If Rousteing was as involved as everyone is saying, hopefully the transition of power and creativity will be equally smootheven though critics are hinting that Balmain is in dire need of a makeover. These two hires prove that acquiring a designer should be more than just a PR stuntwe’re looking at you Ungaro and Lindsay Lohanand we’re thinking that maybe the folks at Dior should take a hint. Certainly John Galliano must have been an excellent teacher, and what is taking so long, anyway?

We do understand, however, that the house of Dior has a lot more on the line than Balmain, both in the scope of its business and in the fact that there is that little “couturier” requirement that will probably require a designer with a very extensive (and impressive) resume.

Do you think Dior should take a cue from Balmain and McQueen and simply promote from within, or is the Galliano spot one that must be filled with another star designer?

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