Theyskens eyeing the door

Maisie

A report in WWD this morning seems to confirm rumors that had largely died down (until Grazia cracked the story open again) that Olivier Theyskens may be out at Nina Ricci.

And if it’s true, who would replace the Belgian visionary? According to WWD, British designer Peter Copping, who has been toiling under Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Still unclear is when the succession would take place, and officials everywhere are being very good at being very unavailable.

WWD reports that Theyskens’ contract is in effect until the end of October, which means he could design and take his bow after two more collections before moving on. However, due to tensions between the designer and management, they could part ways before then.

A Fashion Scoop in WWD first linked Copping to Nina Ricci earlier this month, but the rumors seemed unlikely because Theyskens is so lauded by so many of fashion’s editors, so loved by his clientele, and so admired for his aesthetic.

Theyskens is a delicate, decisive designer whose viewpoint is one that needs to be heard. It would be a shame if those with controlling the purse strings squander his talents because they aren’t making enough of a profit.

If the rumors are true, we’re bemoaning the cutthroat position the industry bigwigs are taking. Yes, the bottom dollar is important, but so is giving the industry’s most expressive inspirational creators room to breathe life into the very clothes that move us to buy them.

In a bizarre game of Fashion connect-the-dots, Theyskens splashed onto the scene in 1998 when Madonna wore his black gown to the Academy Awards, calling him one of her favorite designers. This season, Madonna is the face of the ad campaign for Louis Vuitton, from where Theyskens’ potential successor was poached.

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