Earlier last month, the fashion industry was unsurprisingly shocked to hear Jonathan Saunders would be stepping down from his role as chief creative officer at Diane von Furstenberg after just 18 months. During his (albeit short) tenure, Saunders received praise for taking the brand in a new direction. Following a wildly successful debut collection, the designer revamped the DVF name from the inside out, creating a new logo, redesigning its stores, and bringing a fresh perspective to its advertising campaigns. Despite this, reports of friction between von Furstenberg and Saunders circled throughout the industry — and when there's conflict, there's strains on creativity. As it turns out, though, "new" and "different" may not be what the label ever even wanted.
Business of Fashion is reporting that the Diane von Furstenberg label has designer Nathan Jenden to replace Saunders as well hold the vice president title, putting him back at the brand he worked at for 10 years until 2011. “Nathan is an extremely talented and technically skillful designer who has a great gift surrounding himself with young, emerging talent,” said founder Diane von Furstenberg in a statement to BOF. “It is with joy and pride that I look forward to welcoming Nathan back at DVF.”
Most recently, “Jenden was most recently working on the revival of Bebe, which relaunched in November 2017 after narrowly avoiding bankruptcy earlier in the year,” BOF New York editor Lauren Sherman tweeted, sharing what life was like for the designer post-DVF; he also spent some time working on a namesake label. He'll kick off his new role in February at New York Fashion Week with the fall 2018 collection.
“I want to make great clothes that resonate with women,” Jenden tells BOF. “I see DVF as being more relevant today than it ever was in its message of self-empowerment while being dynamic and modern. I want to give the DVF girl what she wants, when she wants it, and with the joie de vivre and sense of purpose that epitomizes Diane, DVF the brand, and the spirit of women today.” What that means for the newfound aesthetic the company now possesses? Well, we'll find out next month.