5 Designers That Successfully Revived Heritage Houses
The rumors have proved to be true about Marco Zanini’s departure as the creative director of Schiaparelli. Though Zanini only presented two collections and had not yet made the transition from couture to ready-to-wear, he was reportedly unhappy at the French couture house.
In light of all this, we’ve come up with a brief history of 5 successful heritage house takeovers to reassure you (and ourselves) that there are is still a bright future for the legacy created by Elsa Schiaparelli.
Starting in the 1950s Parisian Céline Vipiana’s self-named brand “Céline” quickly grew from a children’s shoe boutique to become a household name for luxurious women’s clothing and accessories. Creative directors that followed Céline herself include Michael Kors, Roberto Menichetti, and Ivana Omazic. The current creative director is Paris-born and London-based designer Phoebe Philo, named in 2008. Under Philo, the brand has experienced a resurgence of popularity. A true testament to her success is all the gals in SoHo carrying her bags and taking #Célfies.
Pierre Balmain released his first collection in 1945 after opening a fashion house under his own name. Though haute couture took a hit during World War II, Balmain helped bring sexy back with his close attention to detail and to the human form. The recently deceased Oscar de la Renta is probably the most well-known of Balmain’s successors, but the current creative director Olivier Rousteing is one of the most notable top dogs in fashion now. Not only that but Rousteing also keeps up with the Kardashians.
This is probably the oldest brand on this list, but that’s not to say it’s not still an extreme success. The legacy of over 150 years and Louis Vuitton museum in Paris are just a few examples of the brand’s renown. However, the house needed a well-deserved facelift, which came under the hands of Marc Jacobs, who just turned the reigns over to Nicolas Ghesquière. Marc is one of fashion’s darlings, and made Vuitton a cultural giant that has modernized the traditional house. Who can forget the house’s collaborations with Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse, and even the Louis Vuitton Don aka Yeezy?
Cristóbal Balenciaga opened his couture house in Paris in 1937. He designed looks like the tunic dress, balloon skirt, and sack dress. The Balenciaga brand continues to push fashion boundaries today under Milk’s friend and collaborator Alexander Wang, the house’s most recent creative director. The motorcycle bag has always been a celebrity favorite, and let’s not forget that epic moment on American Horror Story: Coven when a witch on trial screams “Balenciagaaaaa!” while being burned at the stake. If that ain’t love, then I don’t know what love is.
Yves Saint Laurent
It’s no surprise that the legendary designer of the eponymous label was the head of another heritage house, Dior, before establishing his own kingdom. He is to this day regarded as one of the most important designers to ever exist, from solidifying ready-to-wear collections to more notably creating the tuxedo suit for women. Yves was quite the rockstar, so it’s no surprise that in 2012 Hedi Slimane was instated as the new head of the house. Slimane not only also designed for Dior (menswear from 2000 – 2007), but he also boldly went where only he could go: he renamed the house by dropping the Yves and adding Paris at the end. This arose many responses, with quite a few people saying “Ain’t Laurent without Yves,” but in general the response to the designer and photographer have been favorable. After all, who can be too mad at someone who keeps the rock and roll after party ongoing with his collections?