2009 saw major changes — some rather shocking — in the most renowned fashion houses. The one that stung most was the demise of Christian Lacroix. The economic downturn spawned the downfall of one of fashion's most grand couture houses. Lacroix was forced to shut down, only to be reduced to a licensing operation. Check out the heartfelt love fashion fans gave him at the closing of his final show. Luella Bartley, Maison Martin Margiela, Olivier Theyskens, and others also experienced some unwelcome changes this year. But there was also light for some. Learn about the year's biggest fashion changes . . .
Those following the Christian Lacroix saga know that the couture house has been in financial trouble — and now it has been reduced to a licensing operation. Sad, but that's not going to stop Mr. Lacroix from creating. In fact, he is now responsible for French railway SNCF's uniforms; 20,000 employees are soon going to sport his gray and purple getups, which include skirts, blouses, and jackets for women. They're far from Lacroix couture, but do they strike your fancy?
The Guardian remembers 22 years of Christian Lacroix in photos.
Bottega Veneta announces fragrance deal with Coty Prestige.
Sam Haskins, Photographer, Dies at 83.
French officials are still trying to save Christian Lacroix.
T magazine relaunches for holiday 2009 with Taylor Swift cover.
Steven Meisel's "Meiselpic" story and cover from Vogue Italia December in full featuring self portraits from Lara, Freja, Kasia, Gisele, Karlie, Naomi, Christy and more.
French officials are still trying to save Christian Lacroix.
Source: Guardian UK
Christian Lacroix "Speechless With Anger" After Bidders Fail To Pull Through, Label Shrunk to Licensing
>> Christian Lacroix didn't end up with the happy ending he was hoping for. A Paris commercial court approved a restructuring plan by Lacroix owners the Falic Group today, allowing the French house to be converted to an accessories and perfume licensing operation. Potential buyers, including an Ajman sheikh, failed to present financial guarantees by today's imposed due date.
In the face of the news that Lacroix ready-to-wear and couture are officially no more, and the label's workforce would be cut by 100 to approximately a dozen, the designer spoke to WWD:
“This is the most awful decision possible and I’m speechless with anger. I’ll do my best to find a way of battling. But it seems no one is interested in the future of Lacroix in such a cynical world where the word ‘fashion’ doesn’t have the same meaning as mine. My duty has to be struggling against the Falics . . . against this decision and against the state, who did nothing in fact.”
Lacroix CEO Nicholas Topiol said that Falic Group would continue to negotiate with prospective buyers; he remains optimistic. “I am working on finding a solution for the company. Everything is still possible." If no deal comes through, Topiol added that he plans to restart Lacroix's ready-to-wear under license, with a model similar to those employed at Jean Paul Gaultier or John Galliano.
The models in Victoria's Secret runway show (airing tonight on CBS) each wear almost 3 pounds of body glitter.
Simon Doonan has been hired to decorate the White House for the holidays.
The 2010 Vogue Paris calendar is out.
Olivier Theyskens is in talks about creating a new retail venture with Christopher Burch.
Mango expands in the U.S. by joining forces with JC Penny.
Christian Lacroix has become no more than a licensing firm after court ruling.
Kelly Cutrone's television show, Kell on Earth, will air Febuary 1 on Bravo.
Karl Lagerfeld gives SpongeBob SquarePants a makeover.
Ryan Brown plays good cop to Lorenzo Martone's bad cop at the duo's new talent agency, ARC NY.
Coco Rocha needs your help naming her future fashion line.
Neither Hassan Bin Ali al-Naimi nor the Borletti Group—the two frontrunners to save Christian Lacroix—submitted paperwork on time last week. The court will rule on how to move forward tomorrow in Paris.
>> Just when it looked like the Lacroix saga might be nearing its end — not so fast. A final decision on new ownership, which was first supposed to be made October 27 and was later postponed to yesterday, has once again been put off until Dec. 1, partially because the sheikh frontrunner, who made a $100 million offer in October, "could not show the documentation certifying the funds needed for the acquisition were available" ahead of yesterday's tribunal, according to judicial administrator Regis Valliot.
“We are still hopeful that any of the plans can be finalized. The Ajman offer remains our preference,” Nicolas Topiol, Lacroix's CEO, told WWD. Same goes for Christian Lacroix: “I remain confident in the sheik’s will.”
>> Decision on Christian Lacroix Delayed —Christian Lacroix recently said it would be a relief to have a decision on his company's fate, but it seems that luck is still not with him. The French tribunal which was scheduled to make a decision today on Emirati sheikh al-Naimi's $100 million offer for the brand adjourned hearings, citing the need for an economic recovery plan to be finalized before a decision could be made. The court will reconvene for another review Nov. 17, and a final decision is expected at a later date. [AFP]
>> According to Christian Lacroix, a French commercial court tribunal will review all bids on his brand and make a decision on its fate tomorrow, Oct. 27. He recently told Filep Motwary: "[Current owner the Falic Group] submitted [a bid], some other financial people did too, and I chose to give my support and signature to the Sheikh of Ajman who seems to be the strongest solution. We'll see. But if we win, it will be time for a new rebirth and to work for real."
The sheikh has already gone on record with plans to diversify Lacroix's business, if given the go-ahead:
"The idea is not to focus on fashion by itself. We are discussing different activities in leisure . . . private jets, hotels, high-quality yachts, palaces and interior decoration. We will focus on very exclusive areas and don’t want to sell his name cheap in the market. Christian Lacroix is one of the lords of fashion design in the world . . . but, on another side, as a businessman he has a lot of problems. We will run it better commercially."
>> Christian Lacroix was missed at Paris Fashion Week, but it sounds like he could be back before long — owner Falic Group has concluded a deal to sell Lacroix's label to bidder Al Hassan bin Ali Al-Nuami. Although financial terms could not be learned, it is understood that the designer would become a minority shareholder in the company under the proposed deal.
The offer presented to the commercial court in Paris — which must still approve the deal — was made "in partnership" with Lacroix, according to a statement from the Ajman sheikh's lawyers. The sheikh pledged to continue the couture operations and ready-to-wear businesses, according to the brand's administrator, who expects the offer to be approved: "The offer has been formally lodged. It fulfils perfectly all the necessary criteria concerning maintaining the company's business, safeguarding jobs and assuming debt."
The commercial court is due to meet on the offer around October 20, and a decision could be made before the end of October.