Lanvin has a new creative director of menswear and womenswear: Bruno Sialelli. "I am delighted and honoured to join Lanvin, a house founded by a visionary woman who, among the first French couturiers, dared to offer a global universe with a very wide field of expression," Sialelli said via official press release on Monday. "Bringing emotions through compelling stories and defining a modern attitude are going to be exciting challenges in continuing this legacy."
For those who've watched Lanvin's every move since longstanding creative director and beloved industry veteran Alber Elbaz left the house, we couldn't help but feel like we'd heard this before. In 2017, for example, self-proclaimed "e-couturier" Olivier Lapidus was appointed to the same position, following Bouchra Jarrar, and vowed to drag the oldest French fashion house into the digital era. Lapidus joined the company following one of the biggest sales slumps in its 130-year history, a 23% decline, with its profits falling approximately £99 million in just four years. After rumours circulated that Lapidus was out to transform Lanvin into the "French Michael Kors," he left the company after just two seasons.
Sialelli joins Lanvin after serving as the head of menswear at Loewe, plus stints in womenswear at Balenciaga (working under both Nicolas Ghesquière and Alexander Wang), Acne Studios, and Paco Rabanne. It seems that Lanvin still aims to bring the brand's digital innovation up to code. "Sialelli’s vision of a modern Lanvin is fresh and Lanvin looks forward to his contemporary interpretations of the house’s iconic codes, while introducing many of his own," reads the release. Sialleli will now report to Joann Cheng, chairwoman of Chinese conglomerate Fosun Fashion Group, who bought Lanvin from its previous owner Shaw-Lan Wang, a Taiwanese media magnate who took Lanvin private when she acquired the company in 2001.
To announce his appointment, Sialelli posted a cheeky vintage photo of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger in a pair of lilac trousers to his Instagram. No word yet on whether on not he'll produce collections for the upcoming fall 2019 season, but with just a few weeks left, it seems impossible (though the house tasked Lapidus with doing the same when he was appointed to the same position in 2016). Here's hoping Sialelli embraces the levity and freedom Elbaz added to Lanvin's irreverent history as a female-led fashion house during his legendary — and still very missed — tenure.
Throughout his career, Sialelli has kept a low profile (at the time of publishing, he boasted just over 1,500 followers on Instagram) — which will hopefully prove clout and skill aren't mutually exclusive — but Lanvin may just need the big-name design chief to put its name back on the map and the red carpet.