>> All signs pointed to Olivier Theyskens's imminent exit from Nina Ricci, and now it's official: house and designer released a joint statement revealing that Olivier is gone as of March 10, despite the fact that his contract goes through October.
Neither Theyskens or Ricci would comment beyond the statement, in which the house indicated it “wishes to re-orientate its development strategy for the years to come. Consequently, Nina Ricci and its artistic director Olivier Theyksens have decided by mutual agreement to cease their collaboration.” All signs point to Peter Copping, top design deputy at Louis Vuitton, being tasked with the reorientation as Olivier's replacement, but no mention of him was made in the statement, and thus no word on when he will be transitioning over for his first Ricci collection.
So what's next for Olivier? »
As for the future of Olivier, apparently some were thinking he might take a design role at Schiaparelli, the dormant brand under the ownership of Tod's Diego Della Valle, but sources say that house revival won't come until 2010 at earliest. Olivier does, however, own the rights to his trademark and is said to be considering relaunching his signature label — a distinct possibility, especially after his kiss-off Fall 2009 collection which displayed more of his own Goth leanings (and apparently cost "a good million euro") than the soft, romantic Ricci tastes. Whatever he does, he will surely have Anna Wintour's support — he's always been a favorite of hers, and she appeared pretty devastated at the riff between Olivier and Ricci.