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27-02-2014
  46
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Quote:
Ann Demeulemeester for Fall: A Team Effort
February 27, 2014
By Miles Socha

PARIS — Ann Demeulemeester started preparing her exit from fashion almost eight years ago — and leaving behind an anonymous team was never in the cards.

A trio of talents — Mirjam van den Akker, Sébastien Meunier and Patrick van Ommeslaeghe — designed the fall women’s and men’s collections to be paraded in Paris today, and they elected Meunier to take the bow.

Anne Chapelle, the managing director and controlling shareholder of Ann Demeulemeester, revealed the names in a rare interview on Wednesday, three months after the founding designer revealed her retirement.

“I think it’s important that they are rewarded for it,” she told WWD. “These are three people who have been in fashion for a long time.”

An alumna of Maison Martin Margiela, Meunier has worked on Demeulemeester’s men’s wear since 2010. Van den Akker accompanied the founding designer on the women’s wear side for two decades while van Ommeslaeghe is a new addition, joining the company last September from Jil Sander.

“It was a very smooth transition,” Chapelle said, sipping coffee in the lobby of her Paris hotel off the picturesque Place des Vosges. “They’re confident, and full of love for what they do.”

A nurse, medical researcher and pharmaceutical executive earlier in her career, Chapelle learned the ropes of the fashion industry by studying the racks at stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York after partnering with Demeulemeester in the Nineties to build her fashion house, always charting slow, sustainable growth.

She said she’s confident that her 480 wholesale customers will accompany the brand in its next chapter, citing a 2 percent bump in orders for the men’s fall collection, which was sold here last January.

“We have very loyal customers, and they have a lot of faith in us,” she said. “I think we have a lot of potential still.”

The company has typically logged seasonal growth of about 3 to 8 percent, said Chapelle, stressing a high sell-through is her key benchmark.

She said she would continue to concentrate on the American market, “which is getting its confidence back,” and Asia, where the firm’s wholesale partner, I.T Ltd., recently opened freestanding stores in Shanghai and Beijing, and where business in Seoul is humming.

Chapelle said she’s keeping an eye on BRIC countries and other emerging markets, but warily. “We are in such a niche market; we have to be very careful not to introduce ourselves too early,” she explained.

She said the company is profitable, and generates wholesale revenues of 22 million euros, or $30.2 million at current exchange.

An earnest executive who stands beaming through fashion shows, Chapelle also backs Haider Ackermann’s business, and is incubating another protégé, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, the subject of an exhibition at Galeries Lafayette’s art space.

Up front about her business strength — the wholesale channel — Chapelle said she would be open to taking on a partner that could bring retail expertise, while cautioning, “I don’t want to become corporate.”

Emblematic of the company’s familial legacy, she noted that Demeulemeester’s husband, Patrick Robyn, continues to work on the brand’s stores and shops-in-shop, and that their 27-year-old son does graphic design for the company, including prints for clothes. In fact, Demeulemeester and Robyn are to travel to Shanghai in April for the official opening of the I.T store.

“It’s family, we go together,” Chapelle said, beaming once more. “She’s a living person, she’s my friend. That’s a moment we have to share together.”
wwd.com

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27-02-2014
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^so touching, she will be missed

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27-02-2014
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They showed mens and ladies together; did Ann usually do that? Seems to me, not. And it's definitely already different...some nice thing but "softer" somehow than Ann's usual aesthetic.

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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27-02-2014
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i didn't know patrick van ommeslaeghe was on her team! you know,it seems like such tight-knit group of people,many connected in various degrees,i think they'll do a wonderful job. sebastien has already been designing the men's for several years now and he's been doing a marvelous job.

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27-02-2014
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Wasn't the show today??

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27-02-2014
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btw,NPJ,that used to be ann's only way of presenting pre-2005. seems like this is more a celebration of ann going back to that way and also showing the transition.

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20-03-2014
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Ann Demeulemeester in Book Deal With Rizzoli
Quote:
Ann Demeulemeester, who dispatched a hand-written letter last November to reveal her exit from fashion, is now working on a book. The hardcover Rizzoli tome, written by the Belgian designer and with an introduction by musician Patti Smith, is due out in mid-October, and billed by the publisher as “the first and highly personal perspective into the work and processes of Ann Demeulemeester, one of the most influential and inspiring fashion designers of our time.”
wwd

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20-03-2014
  53
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oh
my
god

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21-03-2014
  54
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like an autobiography or something similar to margiela's giant retrospective compilation book? that should be good either way.

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23-03-2014
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I think it'll be something like the margiela book, if not better.
A magazine curated by just posted this preview on their facebook page and i feel like i have to repeat myself and say 'oh my god'



facebook.com/amagazinecuratedby

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23-03-2014
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That's amazing, I could pre-order one right now

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23-03-2014
  57
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looks as thoughtful and poetic as her work...naturally! and it feels very personal which unfortunately despite the nature of MMM's book(the big one not the street publication)didn't really have that component about it. love the slide-out cover. cannot wait to get this.


Last edited by Scott; 23-03-2014 at 12:59 PM.
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