Last month, LVMH named Guillaume Henry new Creative Director of Jean Patou.
Guillaume Henry is coming back to Fashion Week, resurrecting the Jean Patou maison with LVMH’s backing. The former creative director of Carven and Nina Ricci was handpicked by LVMH’s Sidney Toledano for the role and is expected to debut his vision for Jean Patou in 2019.
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To support Guillaume Henry, LVMH has announced Sophie Brocart as CEO.
These changes are in preparation of a global brand transformation.
“Jean Patou is a very exciting project. It is just at the beginning, but we are all there to support Guillaume Henry’s creativity,” Brocart said to FashionNetwork.com.
Born in 1880 in Normandy, Jean Patou, the son of a tanner and nephew to a furrier was well experienced in the area of design before deciding to venture out on his own and open a small dressmaking salon in Paris in 1912 . Success came quickly to Patou who sold his entire 1914 collection to a single American buyer, however, he was forced to put his craft on hold when he was mobilized in August of the same year for World War I. Reopening his salon in 1919, Patou began to work on eliminating the flapper look and on improving the design for sportswear.
Patou began the tradition of previewing his fashion collections to the press and it was also Patou who invented the first designer label—the pockets of his creations were embroidered with the letters “J” and “P”.
Brocart will leave her position at Kirkwood and LVMH will announce her substitute. She will keep her position as head of mentoring at LVMH, as she believes that talents need to be cultivated and it is very interesting to see people growing.
Brocart joins Patou from Nicholas Kirkwood, where she has been CEO of the London shoe designer for the past four years. The appointment marks a meteoric rise for Brocart, who has been the mentor in chief of young talent within the LVMH orbit, notably guiding the winners the LVMH Prize. She also worked with Jonathan Anderson, after LVMH took a substantial stake in the Northern Irishman’s signature business, J. W. Anderson.
While at Kirkwood, she was instrumental in developing the fledgling house, which last month staged its debut show in London Fashion Week. A brilliant piece of staging entitled Evidence, a vision of a dystopian universe on a set crammed with laptops, fridges, graffiti and monitors on which an 18-year-old “positive hacker” from California showed 360-degree images of Kirkwood’s new footwear – notably his new floral posh punk boots. In a word, Brocart is an out-of-the-box-thinking executive.
Her appointment is very much on-trend with LVMH, which likes to move around and promote decision-makers from within its own ranks. Also last month, the group named Jenny Galimberti, the former communications director of Louis Vuitton, to be the new CEO of J.W. Anderson.