Where are the Designers Now? Fashion Industry Musical Chairs
The past couple of years, fashion designers have been playing a strange game of musical chairs as they jump from one fashion house to another, making designer labels not-so eponymous and puzzling us all. If you can't keep track of these designers who are traded like playing cards, keep my guide for who's-who in the design world (for now!).
Designer: Jason Wu
Used to Design For: Jason Wu
Now Designs For: Hugo Boss
Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu skyrocketed to fame when he designed for Michelle Obama on many occasions, including for the first and second presidential inaugurations. Wu is now the art director for the womenswear line of Hugu Boss, working his way up as a known (and traded!) name in the fashion world.
Designer: Marc Jacobs
Used to Design For: Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs
Then Designed For: Louis Vuitton
Now Designs For: Marc Jacobs
As crazy as it seems in this naming game, Marc Jacobs really made his way in fashion as the Creative Director for Louis Vuitton, as his eponymous labels were considered smaller projects. Jacobs announced in the fall of 2013 that he was leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on his personal line, to the shock and awe of many.
Designer: Nicolas Ghesquière
Used to Design For: Balenciaga
Now Designs For: Louis Vuitton
As a young designer, Nicolas Ghesquière never had an eponymous label, but worked under Jean-Paul Gaultier, and then worked his way up at Balenciaga. Following Marc Jacobs' parting ways with Louis Vuitton, it was announced that Ghesquière would be taking his place.
Designer: Alexander Wang
Used to Design For: Alexander Wang, T by Alexander Wang
Now Designs For: Balenciaga
Alexander Wang has been praised as the precocious darling of the fashion world, only rising to fame in the past ten years after attending Parsons and then winning the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2008. Known for his urban designs that favor a mostly-black palette, Wang was ushered in as Balenciaga's Creative Director following Ghesquière's departure.
Designer: John Galliano
Used to Design For: Givenchy
And Then Designed For: Christian Dior
Now Designs For: Maison Martin Margiela
Galliano has hopped from Givenchy, where he got his start, to Dior, and now to Margiela. Following controvercy surrounding anti-semitic and racist remarks on numerous occasions, many chose to boycott his work. Since jumping to Margiela, however, Galliano has laid low behind the scenes of the label, and audiences seem to have forgotten to hate him.
Designer: Peter Copping
Used to Design For: Nina Ricci
Now Designs For: Oscar de la Renta
Peter Copping is a lesser-known name in the fashion world, despite the fact that he's worked under many top designers before being appointed to Nina Ricci in 2009. Copping now designs for Oscar de la Renta, whose beloved namesake passed away last year. The late de la Renta called Copping a great talent, noting that they shared appreciation for music, art, and architecture, which ultimately influences the design inspiration for the line.
Designer: Nicola Formichetti
Used to Design For: Thierry Mugler
Now Designs For: Diesel
Italian-Japanese designer Nicola Formichetti rose in fame when he worked with Lady Gaga on numerous occasions from 2009-2012, and he has further proved his fashion chops as the director of Vogue Hommes Japan. Formichetti left Mugler after two years with the label, taking over as Artistic Director of Diesel.
Looking at this list (which is only a selection of this crazy trading game!), does anyone notice a pattern? Maybe about the fact that it's all men? This isn't to say that there aren't brilliant female designers in the fashion industry, but they aren't in as high demand as the hundreds of men who are coveted womenswear designers, and it's questionable why this is. This may be a conversation for another day; in the meantime, it makes you wonder why designers aren't content to stick with one brand.