>> Haider Ackermann has flown under the radar for a number of years, but in the past few months particularly, it feels as though he's crossed a threshold. In November of last year, Karl Lagerfeld named Ackermann as the designer he'd like to see take over from him at Chanel; Ackermann was reportedly being scouted by Yves Saint Laurent CEO Valerie Hermann at his October show; and Vogue chose to dress Lady Gaga in Ackermann's dresses both on the magazine's March 2011 cover — a major coup — and inside. As Ackermann tells longtime supporter Tilda Swinton in Interview's February 2011 issue, he's feeling the love: "You know what? I feel like I’m going through such a delicious phase of my life at the moment. It’s nice to feel desired — and I do feel desired work-wise but also privately . . . You know, we all want to be desired. So it feels very good. You know, I really like to take the time to build things slowly and surely — to get more grounded. But it never felt for certain, like, 'One day people will listen to me!' It was more like, 'Perhaps I’ve got something to say.' So it feels fantastic." [Interview]
Manish Arora Rumored to be New Paco Rabanne Creative Director; Yves Saint Laurent CEO Reportedly Scouting Haider Ackermann
>> Paco Rabanne has slowly been edging back into the fashion game — first with handbags that hit stores next month, and then with clothing, which is promised soon after. The namesake designer, who has been consulting on the relaunch of Rabanne, recently said: "The Paco Rabanne brand is and must remain what it has always been: audacious." And now, it's rumored that Manish Arora may be tapped as the new creative director; though it's not confirmed, Aurora does have a knack for color and print. And speaking of designer rumors, there's also one going around that Haider Ackermann is being scouted to replace Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent — apparently YSL CEO Valerie Hermann attended Ackermann's Spring 2011 show in October incognito, without an offical ticket request or RSVP. [Racked, Racked]
Haider Ackermann Responds to Karl Lagerfeld Nominating Him to Be Next Chanel Designer — "He’s Not Retiring"
>> Last month, when asked who he would like to see succeed him at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld replied: "At the moment I'd say Haider Ackermann." Ackermann, who already said that he was "honored" at the mention, explained Thursday: “I think Mr. Lagerfeld said something that was a really nice compliment. But I think people should take it as he took it: a compliment. No more, no less. And the man is still there, and he’s not retiring. Trust me on that one. We know each other and we really respect each other. I spent last Saturday with him, and it’s a pleasure to be with such a person, because he is so very generous, and he’s got so many things to tell you. You can only just absorb and observe.” [DFR]
>> There are always plenty of rumors about when Karl Lagerfeld might retire (if at all), and who might succeed him, but in the November 2010 issue of Numero, Lagerfeld addresses the question himself: "I have a contract for life so it all depends on who I would like to hand it to. At the moment I'd say Haider Ackermann." Lagerfeld invited Ackermann to the most recent Chanel show and has been lately enamored with his designs. Ackermann, for his part, reacted well to Lagerfeld's blessing: "What can one possibly say to such a phrase?! Such a compliment! Honored I feel, how can one not be?! In all honesty tremendously, immensely touched especially coming from Monsieur Lagerfeld." [WWD]
Backstage Snaps from Paris Fashion Week Part Two: Karlie Kloss Playing Air Guitar at Jean Paul Gaultier, and More
>> The latest from backstage at Paris Fashion Week: Coco Rocha and her husband James Conran hanging pre-Christian Dior with Maryna Linchuk, Karlie Kloss playing air guitar at Jean Paul Gaultier, and Roland Mouret having a moment backstage with Daiane Conterato. All that, plus more snaps from Lanvin, Haider Ackermann, Pedro Lourenco, and Viktor & Rolf.
Photos: Greg Kessler
>> Haider Ackermann was invited to present a Pre-Spring 2011 collection — even though he does not typically do pre-collections — as part of Pitti W, the womenswear portion of Pitti Uomo currently going on in Florence. He promised Style.com that "my friend Jamie Bochert will be playing piano and singing" at the show, and that's just what happened yesterday.
Chandeliers were hung from the ceiling at the Palazzo Corsini, where the show took place, and Bochert was the first model out, walking in silence before taking a seat at a grand piano. She opened the the show with a piano medley, which included a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," and was accompanied by a violinist and a cellist. Garance Dore, who captured the show, described the proceedings: "I’ve never heard her voice and I was absolutely blown away. It was soft, suave, and dreamy, like a summer night. Then slowly, to her music, the models started out. After a few sublime songs, Jamie got up. The show was over."
A video of Bochert's performance, below.
After eight years of creating women's clothing, Haider Ackermann took his first pass at a men's collection as Pitti Uomo's guest designer in Florence. Ackermann is quick to explain his showing last night was not a menswear launch, rather taking advantage of an opportunity given to him by Pitti. The show was also the debut of his women's spring pre-collection.
Guests filed into the courtyard of the Palazzo Corsini where Ackermann's friend Jamie Bochert was performing. As for the clothes, Haider Ackermann's women were dripping in draped silks with hems hitting the floor, and his men were dressed in pajama-style silk harem pants with layers of untied open robes on top. His colorful slippers and her flat sandals added to feeling this couple was not unlike nomadic travelers. "My man had a life, whatever it is," said the designer a couple of days before his show. "He had a past. He’s been living, and he’s coming to peace now. But he had a highly coloured life."
Karlie Kloss stars in the fall Acuascutum campaign along with Matt Benstead, Jacob Coupe, and Tristan Knights. Shot by Willy Vanderperre, the image will make a print debut in the July issue of L'Uomo Vogue.
Mr. Nils, Lars Nilsson's new men's label, might be over before it had a chance to begin. According to WWD, the company is defaulting on retail orders for fall.
Haider Ackermann prepares to show his first menswear collection as Pitt's guest designer.
Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi would love to design children's clothing now that they have a little girl. The pair also recently created uniforms for London's Bungalow 8.
Preen's Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi have developed a collection of workwear with London tailor Gieves & Hawkes. "We wanted it to be masculine with a feminine twist, we thought it was about time we gave our Preen girl something to wear to work," said the designers.
And speaking of Mario Grauso, the Vera Wang president has taken on the role of columnist for Elle, as the magazine's "correspondent of chic."
Haider Ackermann is venturing into menswear and will unveil his first men's collection June 16 in Florence during the Pitti W trade show.
>> Haider Ackermann Named Guest of Honor at Upcoming Pitti W — The last two Pitti W events in Florence, where women's designers showcase their pre-collections, have hosted Proenza Schouler and Giles as the guest of honor. For the upcoming fair, from June 15 to 18, Haider Ackermann has been named the honoree; he's expected to unveil a special collection designed specifically for the event — even though he typically does not produce pre-collections — that will possibly be commercialized. [WWD]