Monday, June 15, 2009


A recent photo of Lacroix and his models

I'm Amy-Jo Tatum, editor of Bride Chic back with WF for a little trend reporting. No I haven't vanished into thin air, I'm in the midst of bridal season here in The San Francisco Bay Area so I'm scattered pretty thin. That doesn't mean I've abondoned my runway watch. In case you haven't heard, Parisian designer Christian Lacroix recently filed the French version of chapter 11. Quoting WWD Fashion, "the designer has told his collaborators he will give “200 percent” to keep the 22-year-old couture house intact.The goal is to “preserve the know-how, without which the lungs and the heart of the house couldn’t exist,” Lacroix wrote in a letter to the firm’s 125 employees, excerpts of which were obtained by WWD. Lacroix wrote he is “not ashamed” to admit that he is among parties owed money — some 1.2 million euros, or $1.7 million at current exchange — and that he has been designing collections “free of charge” for several months."

While the WWD article goes on to describe more of the intricacies of Lacroix's bankruptcy, other write-ups paint his dilemma as the corporate equivalent of dying a slow, miserable death. With the plummeting economy, top retailers in the US and abroad slowed down or stopped ordering the Lacroix label. This April Neiman Marcus and Saks eased up on ordering Lacroix products too. The summer collection, the best I've seen to date, experienced weak sales as well. From an economical standpoint, the Lacroix business was never a fiscal success nor has it once turned a profit since its inception 22 years back. Last year it reported a 10 million loss.

So what's the worst that can happen? Lacroix could go bankrupt? Will he disappear? We'll definitely miss his head-and-shoulders-above-all -the-rest talent. No doubt Lacroix must be going through a private hell of his own right now. But despite bankruptcy, I hope he'll resurrect somewhere in the fashion arena showcasing that remarkable talent for gypsy-chic and keen eye for detailing. I feel hopeful simply because I believe once you get to the Christian Lacroix level, designing is a passion and with all passion comes a 'must do' instinct like breathing air in and out. While I can't explain or even research properly all the decisions and rulings dealing with insolvency, I can, as an artist say this: a designer will always design no matter what the circumstances, we'll always find a way . . . .

{All photos courtesy of Coutorture}

1 comment:

Couture Carrie said...

Long live Lacroix!
These dresses are gorgeous... you know if I ever got married, I'd wear Lacroix Couture!


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