Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oscar de la Renta Named Peter Copping as Creative Director

"Oscar de la Renta, the king of the ladies who lunch, has appointed a crown prince. On Monday, the house announced it had named Peter Copping as creative director, putting to rest a month of rumors about the move, and putting into place a succession plan for the brand.
“We have spent a considerable time determining how best to bring a new and important creative voice into our company,” said Alex Bolen, chief executive of Oscar de la Renta (and the designer’s stepson-in-law), announcing the news. “Peter will bring a fresh perspective to our brand, continuing the evolution of our business.”
Mr. Copping, the 48-year-old former artistic director of Nina Ricci, who officially left that brand at the beginning of October, will be responsible for all product categories, including ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal and home décor. He will report to Mr. de la Renta and Mr. Bolen.
His appointment makes him one of the few designers in the modern fashion industry to have actually been anointed as an heir apparent by a sitting creator, and it comes at time when a number of established designers are facing issues of succession, including Giorgio Armani (age 80) and Ralph Lauren (74). As a result, it will be one of the most closely watched creative moves in recent years.
Though Yves Saint Laurent worked with Christian Dior before briefly taking over the house at the designer’s untimely death, and Karl Lagerfeld was hired by founder Gaby Aghion at Chloé, the modern fashion world is not known for its smooth passing of design power. Indeed, according to Mr. de la Renta, this was an impetus for the decision to identify Mr. Copping and put him in place.
“Our industry has not always done the best job when it comes to changes in design leadership,” Mr. de la Renta said in the announcement. “My hope is that, in leading this selection and actively participating in the transition, I can ensure the right design future for our company and brand.”
Hubert de Givenchy, for example, was critical of the state of his brand after he sold it to LVMH and retired in 1995. In 2009, Tom Ford, speaking to The Advocate of his time as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent (which had been bought by then-PPR, now Kering), said of the house’s founders, “Yves and his partner, Pierre Bergé, were so difficult and so evil and made my life such misery.”
Mr. de la Renta, who is 82, and whose health has been precarious (he had cancer in 2006, and at his women’s wear show in September looked frail), had been thinking about naming a successor for the last few years. In 2013, John Galliano, the former Christian Dior artistic director, had a very well-publicized three-week stint in the de la Renta atelier, and though the resulting collection looked a bit like an uncomfortable amalgam of Mr. Galliano’s dramatic bias-cut styles and Mr. de la Renta’s more classic work, the house seriously considered hiring Mr. Galliano full time. In the end, however, they could not reach an agreement, reportedly in part because Mr. Galliano wanted to bring a number of former colleagues with him."
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