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16-06-2014
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Olivier Theyskens to exit Theory, what's next?
Quote:
Olivier Theyskens to Exit Theory
June 16, 2014
By Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK —Olivier Theyskens, artistic director of Theory, is parting ways with the contemporary sportswear brand.

The Belgian-born designer joined Theory in 2010 to design a capsule collection under the Theyskens Theory label. He showed his first collection on the runway for fall 2011. This past February, a switch occurred, and Theyskens presented his first runway show collection for Theory, rather than Theyskens Theory, which was discontinued.

Theyskens plans to pursue other design projects. His final collection for Theory will be pre-spring 2015.

“I am grateful for Olivier’s extraordinary contribution to Theory over the past three and a half years, and I am particularly excited to see what he does next. While he has already accomplished so much, I am confident in the power of his artistic skill and believe his future will be very bright,” said Andrew Rosen, chief executive officer of Theory.

Theyskens said, “It has been an amazing opportunity to work with Andrew and to benefit from his knowledge in this dynamic segment of fashion. I will always cherish our friendship.”

Before relocating here to join Theory, Theyskens was artistic director for Nina Ricci for two years until March 2009 and earlier was creative director of Rochas for four years, prior to which he designed his own collection. Although he is considered one of the most critically acclaimed designers of his generation, commercial success eluded him at both Ricci and Rochas.

When Rosen tapped Theyskens in 2010, they were viewed as an odd couple: Theyskens, a designer of lavishly sculpted evening gowns, and Rosen, a third generation New York apparel executive who ran U.S. operations for Theory and Helmut Lang. Their collaboration set the fashion world abuzz with excitement and was viewed as a vehicle to elevate Theory’s clean, tailored aesthetic and add design excitement to a major contemporary sportswear house.

The collaboration succeeded in bringing a level of recognition to Theory on a global scale, and the company was able to open more high-end specialty stores around the world, said sources. The Theyskens Theory collaboration was designed to have limited distribution, but failed to ignite sales on the store floor. Sources said the collection, which used more luxe fabrics and was priced higher than Theory, was deemed too advanced for the Theory customer and never really built momentum after the initial launch. Also, execution proved to be a little difficult as Theyskens wasn’t used to working on a calendar required for production of a large contemporary sportswear line.

During his tenure, Theyskens travelled on behalf of the brand and became involved in the art world in the U.S., serving as an honorary cochair for the annual Whitney Art Party. On a trip to L.A. last year to raise the profile of Theyskens Theory, the designer told WWD, “So much has evolved. I am looking to make the brand [Theyskens Theory] more visible and to elevate the brand and the whole market, so we have a lot of lot more to do. I know we can bring more to it and transform it continually.”

Known for precise tailoring, street moodiness and lots of black, Theyskens Theory was lauded by fashion critics. For his debut collection for fall 2011, WWD wrote: “His collection for Theory, inspired by a play on the raw and rustic, delivered on so many counts — emotion, a cool factor and terrific clothes. The familiar chorus of Gothic gestures and long, lean silhouettes that followed him from Rochas to Nina Ricci is still there — as is his penchant for statement shoes. But this vibe skews decidedly street-chic, not to mention commercial, which used to be the greatest knock against him.” Later Theyskens Theory collections were praised for striking the right balance between “a cool, rock ’n’ roll vibe and an elegant refinement” and a “casual cool-girl blend.” For fall 2013, WWD wrote, “If at times the lineup had the feel of elevated basics — a major talent like Theyskens can do more — there were still lots of great wardrobe pieces for the contemporary customer.”

When he showed Theory on the runway for fall 2014, WWD wrote, “The lyrical side Theyskens mentioned was revealed in shiny jackets — silk bonded to wool — beautifully embroidered with green and silver florals. The lineup could have used more of such showpieces, but pushing Theory’s brand parameters is a delicate situation, as Theyskens knows.”

During a Q & A with Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus in 2012, Theyskens gave his take on designing for a contemporary brand, versus couture. “With couture you feel obligated to design something modern each season but with Theyskens Theory I don’t question anything. I’m thinking of what I’d like to wear,” said Theyskens.

Theyskens catapulted to fame at 21 years old when Madonna wore his black satin hook-and-eye gown to the Oscars in 1998. He put his signature brand on hiatus when he joined Rochas in 2003. His role there, marked by critical acclaim, ended when owner Procter & Gamble Co. closed the money-losing fashion house to focus on fragrance. Theyskens’ final runway collection for Ricci — shown on a sandpaperlike runway with models perched on stilt-like shoes — was viewed as a creative kiss-off to Ricci management and a defiant statement of his Goth leanings versus the romantic and ethereal image of the Ricci brand.

Theory was founded in 1997 by Rosen and Elie Tahari. The brand rapidly attracted a loyal following for its chic, understated basics and its stretch pants. In 2003, the duo sold large stakes in the brand to two Japanese companies — Link International, Theory’s Japanese licensee founded by Ricky Sasaki, and Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. Tahari sold his entire stake, while Rosen held onto 11 percent, going on to become ceo of Theory, and, later, Helmut Lang, which Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. bought in 2006. In 2009, Link Theory Holdings became a subsidiary of Fast Retailing of Japan.
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Last edited by VogueDisciple93; 16-06-2014 at 02:54 PM.
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16-06-2014
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Wow... I can't wait to see where he is headed next


I actually loved his collections for Theyksens' Theory, but I guess it was obvious to everyone that it's not the right role for him in the long run. Especially when they folded the Theyskens' Theory section and his designs for the brand were bound to become even more basic.

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16-06-2014
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Sounds excellent, I thought the switch from Theyskens' Theory to just Theory would pursue Oliver to go into another direction because the label seems a bit to basic for him.

I can't predict where he'll go to or do next but I hope its sometime soon. I enjoy his work.

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16-06-2014
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I never really understood Olivier at Theory to be honest. He's just so not the kind of designer you would expect to take over a brand like that. I feel like his plan all along was to get some money so he could re-open his label. Let's hope i'm right.

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16-06-2014
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All my prayers answered.

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16-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luxx View Post
All my prayers answered.
There's already been rumors going around as to why he's leaving and where he's going and who he will be replacing. If true there's going to be another major departure soon that will make this one seem insignificant.

We shall see!

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16-06-2014
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let's hope this means he might revive his namesake. i think it's time already....he's been in and out of so many labels....he needs to bring back his own. he's also made enough by now i'm sure to maintain a comfortable life and have full creative freedom again.

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16-06-2014
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HOORAY, he is much better than the mediocre collections he has been putting out season after season at Theory. I like to believe that it was the label that was restricting his talent... and soon we'll see for certain.

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17-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterlein View Post
There's already been rumors going around as to why he's leaving and where he's going and who he will be replacing. If true there's going to be another major departure soon that will make this one seem insignificant.

We shall see!
Oh PLEASE let it be Alber at Lanvin. I don't care if I may be the only one, but his recent collections for that brand have been an abysmal rehash of his old, superior collections. Theyskens could be great at Lanvin too.

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17-06-2014
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yeh I can see him fitting Lanvin well, but I doubt they would let Alber go that easy.

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17-06-2014
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As much as I used to WORSHIP Alber, his last few collections have been just tragic.

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17-06-2014
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Oh geeze, let's not start calling for Elbaz's head any chance we get. Fashion's revolving door spins quicker each year, and doesn't always end up being better for it. Theyskens currently has a lot more to prove than Elbaz does.

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18-06-2014
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he should go to helmut lang
he does have a thing for early helmut.

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19-06-2014
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Please let Theyskens go to McQueeen (though most likely Oscar de la Renta...according to rumours)!


Last edited by Zazie; 19-06-2014 at 12:01 PM.
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19-06-2014
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^ I'd better see Theyskens at de la Renta than Pragabal.I think Theyskens would do magic at de la Renta !

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