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Lanvin taps Olivier Lapidus to succeed Bouchra Jarrar

French designer Olivier Lapidus has been named the successor of Bouchra Jarrar and is set to take on the role of artistic director at Lanvin.

"It is a great honor to join Lanvin and I warmly thank Madame Wang for placing her confidence in me," says Olivier Lapidus in a statement from Lanvin. "With nearly 130 years of history, Lanvin is the oldest French couture house. To ensure its longevity is an immense task and an exciting challenge."

His appointment at the luxury fashion house comes four days after the sudden exit of Jarrar, who left the position after a 16-month tenure. The designer reportedly began his new role at the Maison on Monday, joining Lanvin as it faces numerous challenges.

Lanvin names Olivier Lapidus as its new Artistic Director

Lanvin, originally founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889, has been struggling to keep its sales high since hitting over 250 million euros back in 2012. The fashion house posted its first loss in more than 10 years last year, in addition to a 23 percent decline in revenue following the departure of its beloved Creative Director in late 2015, Alber Elbaz. The Maison majority shareholder, Taiwanese mogul Shaw-Lan Wang, is said to have pushed him out of the company at the time.

However, the appointment of Lanvin new artistic director has been welcome by Madame Wang. "I welcome Olivier Lapidus as Lanvin artistic director whose creative capacity is in direct line with the elegance embodied by Jeanne Lanvin," says Shaw-Lan Wang, President of Lanvin. "His broad understanding of the universe of this house, of the world of fashion and design and his resolutely modern approach will bring Lanvin towards new horizons."

Lapidus is set to lead the Maison as it moves in a new direction to become "a French Michael Kors" according to sources at BoF. The change in brand image is said to be part of the company’s wider strategic shift to cut down on costs and boost sales. The Parisian-born designer will present his first collection for Lanvin this September during Paris Fashion Week for SS18. He will also continue to work on his own couture house, known as Création Olivier Lapidus, which debuted earlier this month during Paris Couture Fashion Week.

The couture house is the first couture house to launch solely online and has been praised for merging online with offline. "Far ahead of his time, Olivier Lapidus has always been interested in new technologies," adds Wang. "As a precursor couturier, he now resonates with the aspirations of the company and will be able to take up the challenges of Lanvin in the 21st century."

Photo: Olivier Lapidus, AFP