February 28, 2005

Givenchy in Trouble?

Lack of leadership at Givenchy:

It was Audrey Hepburn whose simple black dress in ``Breakfast at Tiffany's'' forever epitomized the restrained elegance of Hubert de Givenchy. Another client, Jacqueline Kennedy, carried the designer's brand of effortless chic to the White House.

But now, for the first time in 53 years, the revered fashion house of Givenchy, whose namesake retired a decade ago, did not produce a haute couture collection for spring couture week in Paris this year after a lengthy list of designers showed no interest in taking over the company.

The search for a creative director to run Givenchy by its deep-pocketed corporate parent, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has dragged on for 10 months; the ready-to-wear collection for fall, which will be shown during Paris Fashion Week beginning Feb. 28, will be created by an anonymous team of studio assistants, which could make it a tough sell in an industry that relies on the cult of personality.

The search has included exploratory talks with the designers Zac Posen, Isaac Mizrahi, Derek Lam and others, plus a cameo by Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, in the role of adviser to the company.

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