Guillaume Henry quits Nina Ricci
The house did not renew the designer’s contract, a three-year agreement which ended on March 15, which means that Paris-based Nina Ricci effectively fired Henry.
The house confirmed that the next Nina Ricci collection will be created by an in-house design team. Nina Ricci is one of four fashion houses controlled by the Puig family, an extended Catalan clan that owns Spain’s largest perfume group. The Puigs control the fashion houses of Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Carolina Herrera. The group also oversees the fragrance licenses of Valentino, Comme des Garçons and Prada.
“After three years of mutually gratifying creative collaboration, Nina Ricci and Guillaume Henry have together decided that the designer will depart the house after the presentation of the fall-winter 2018-19 collection,” Nina Ricci said in a statement, referring to his last runway appearance in the Hotel Potocki on March 2.
“Pending the arrival of a new Creative Director, the next collections will be designed by the Nina Ricci Studio,” it added.
The news had been widely expected. Since several months prior, senior Puig executives had been less than enthusiastic about Henry’s performance at Ricci.
However, as recently as his final collection for the house, Henry was adamantly denying he was on the verge of departing the house, which was founded in 1932.
“No, I am not leaving Nina Ricci, and this is not the moment to talk about rumors, especially a day of a défilé!” Henry insisted, somewhat straining credibility.
Henry entered Nina Ricci in 2015 as an acclaimed young talent, after brilliantly reviving Carven, injecting a youthful insouciance into an almost moribund house. However, from the beginning Henry’s attempt to inject a contemporary take on grand French chic never quite gelled. He does, however, leave after staging several memorable shows - most notably his fall 2016 collection staged in March of that year and dedicated to passionate French women, with seductive negligée dresses and seductively crushed metallic silk cocktails.
Henry, a graduate of Duperré, the noted 3rd arrondissement art school, had done stints at Givenchy and Paule Ka, before taking creative control at Carven. At Nina Ricci, he succeeded Englishman Peter Copping.
Henry’s departure comes just one month after Carolina Herrera staged her final show in New York as a designer for the house she founded in 1980. Her successor had already been named, Wes Gordon, who had experience working in that house.
Herrera, however, will stay at her house, in an ambassadorial role. Moreover, Herrera lasted 37 years, while Henry did not quite make 36 months at Nina Ricci.
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