×
189
Fashion Jobs
H&M
E-Commerce Business Analyst – Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines
Permanent ·
H&M
Regional Customer Activation & Marketing Business Controller
Permanent ·
SHISEIDO
Singapore - Sales Administrative & Operations Executive
Permanent · Singapore
SHISEIDO
Travel Retail - Strategic Key Accounts Manager
Permanent · Singapore
CROCS
HR Business Partner (6-Months Contract)
Permanent ·
SHISEIDO
Asia Pacific - Regional Digital & Ecommerce Marketing Executive
Permanent · Singapore
H&M
HR Business Partner - People Relations
Permanent ·
H&M
Insights Analyst, CRM & Loyalty
Permanent ·
SHISEIDO
Travel Retail - Strategic Key Accounts Senior Manager
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Apac Logistics Finance Director
Permanent · Singapore
SHISEIDO
Asia Pacific - Regional fp&a Manager
Permanent · Singapore
FOREO
Key Account Manager SEA
Permanent · Jurong
UNDER ARMOUR
Senior Manager, Merchandising
Permanent ·
H&M
Regional Group Manager (Ecommerce Merchandising Unit) - Region South Asia
Permanent ·
SHISEIDO
Singapore - Training Manager, Clé de Peau Beauté
Permanent · Singapore
SHISEIDO
Travel Retail - Regional Sales Director, SEA & Ocn
Permanent · Singapore
SHISEIDO
Travel Retail - Corporate Communications Director
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Assistant Training Manager
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Brand Manager
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Brand Manager, Distributor Markets
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Demand Planner
Permanent · Singapore
COTY
Demand Planner, Travel Retail Asia Pacific
Permanent · Singapore
By
AFP
Published
Dec 10, 2022
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

The hot trend is low-profile fashion designers

By
AFP
Published
Dec 10, 2022

The days of gigantic personalities like John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld stomping their way around the fashion world are over. Today's stars might still be extraordinary individuals, but it is discretion that sells.


Chanel - Spring-Summer2023 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


The recent difficulties at Balenciaga -- over ads with suggestions of child abuse and its ties to rapper Kanye West -- have highlighted the risks of having a provocative figurehead.

Creative director Demna (who has dropped his last name Gvasalia) has made Balenciaga arguably the hottest brand of the moment, but his edgy approach and celebrity friends suddenly look like a liability.

Many brands are moving away from the whole idea of the big-name designer.

Louis Vuitton has yet to replace Virgil Abloh since his tragically early death last year, with work now handled by his studio.

That will also be the case at Gucci until further notice, following the departure last month of flamboyant designer Alessandro Michele, whose revamp of the Italian brand was a huge success -- until it wasn't.

Other hot houses -- Hermes, Chanel, Dior -- are happy to go with designers who keep away from the limelight.

"The situations are different, but they reveal a trend: it's the golden age of low profiles," said Arnaud Cadart, of asset management company Flornoy Ferri.

Interpreters


The shift reflects the fact that many brands are now established and don't need a star.

"Brand identity is no longer about the designer. Designers are interpreters of brand identity," added Julie El Ghouzzi, of fashion consultancy Cultz.

When Lagerfeld passed away in 2019, his mantle passed to his right-hand man, who has quietly continued his work.

Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski and Veronique Nichanian at Hermes, or Virginie Viard at Chanel, are little-known outside the trade.

Demna now looks like an outlier. The 41-year-old Georgian has been listed in Time's 100 most influential people, and has a long-time muse in Kim Kardashian.

But he is a constant provocateur: his $1,800 garbage bags seemed particularly ill-suited to a show in March that was dedicated to Ukrainian refugees.

And his ties to Kanye, who featured in Balenciaga's September show in Paris, are damaging, even if Demna moved quickly to sever ties after the rapper's recent anti-Semitic outbursts.

"It is difficult to imagine that this does not break the brand's momentum, which was going very strongly," said Cadart.

'A little madness'


The beginning of the end of big-name designers is often traced to Galliano's removal from Dior in 2011 after he was filmed making his own anti-Semitic outburst in a restaurant.

"The bigger the houses, the more luxury becomes a mass market. Now they're looking for more discreet artistic directors," said Benjamin Simmenauer, professor at the French Fashion Institute.

It's a delicate balance.

Michele's baroque, offbeat shows for Gucci drew attention, but not so many sales.

"The markets want Gucci to sell black handbags and not pink frills all over the place that normal people wouldn't dare to wear," said Cadart.

But that sort of safe -- so-called "timeless" -- approach would end up hurting Gucci, which has always had transgression in its DNA.

"The risk is that people get bored. Fashion is supposed to entertain and ask questions," said Simmenauer.

"You need some seduction, a little madness."

Copyright © 2023 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.