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Lanvin artistic director departs as general manager moves to new role

Lauretta Roberts
22 March 2018

Lanvin has announced the departure of artistic director Olivier Lapidus and a new role for general manager Nicolas Druz; the moves follow the acquisition of the French fashion house by Chinese group Fosun last month.

Lapidus, who joined Lanvin last July, is leaving to pursue his own label, the company said, while Druz will take up the new position of managing director of Fosun Fashion Group, where he will support the group’s expansion in Europe.

Fosun president and chairman of the board of directors Joann Cheng has stepped in as interim chief executive at Lanvin until a successor is found. “Olivier steered the maison through a transitional period between ownerships,” said Cheng. “We thank him for that, and wish him every success for his own brand and future endeavors.”

Fosun, which owns French leisure group Club Med, Italian menswear brand Caruso, accessories brand Folli Follie, and St John Knits in the US, acquired a majority share in Lanvin last month. When it acquired the business, having fended off a rival bid from Qatar's Mayhoola Group, it vowed to invest a significant sum in the house, believed to be around €100m, to “enter a new phase of expansion”.

Lanvin, which is the oldest French fashion house still in operation, has struggled financially and creatively since it parted company with its highly popular former creative director Alber Elbaz in 2015. Elbaz, who joined Lanvin in 2001, had apparently fallen out with former majority shareholder Shaw-Lan Wang who retains a minority stake in the business.

Elbaz was eventually replaced by Bouchra Jarrar who lasted only two seasons at the house and was in turn replaced by Lapidus, who again showed only two seasons.

Lanvin was founded by Jeanne-Marie Lanvin in 1889, who began as a milliner and then branched in to designing clothes for her daughter. In 1909 she was admitted to the Syndicat de la Couture, marking her formal status as a couturier. In 1990, the house was taken over by the Orcofi Group then sold to L’Oréal in 1996 before Wang, a Taiwanese media magnate took Lanvin private again in 2001.

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