Olivier Theyskens Officially Parts Ways with Nina Ricci - Page 8 - the Fashion Spot
 
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18-03-2009
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Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post
^ I agree.

I mean, I think Theyskens is talented, but in seeing his work at Rochas and then at Nina Ricci there have been times when it's clear he's not at all concerned with making clothes that people can wear or even afford. You could call his persistence conviction or you could call it stubbornness. Point is, by not making garments that people want to buy, he's only fullfilling half the job of a designer. As for the artist argument, I don't buy it. Fashion designers aren't artists, they're artistic.

Good God, Spike, I didn't read this before I posted, but you basically said what was in my mind..AGAIN:p.

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18-03-2009
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In a way I'm glad to see that Olivier is parting ways with Ricci... It only got worse when I visited their re-vamped Montaigne flagship, which now basically looks like an old and stuffy 1980ies Escada boutique, with gold-tipped accents on all the interior...

I agree also that he or his assistant designers never succeeded in making interesting, desirable, sellable clothes with a bit of an edge as a translation from runway to salesfloor - What you got were little nipped-in skirtsuits with flower prints that a Republican-party's first lady could have worn, but in no way would they have ever represented any of the edge that made Olivier's personal style and taste so recognizable in the first place, when he designed his own line or Rochas.

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18-03-2009
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Originally Posted by dior_couture1245 View Post
To be honest, I've NEVER really understood why his clothes don't sell well. I mean, is price really the only reason Theyskens doesn't do well in retail?

Rochas, I can understand that things didn't sell so well, simply because for his first two years at the house, it was all eveningwear. But at Ricci? I'm still confused. Every show he produced for the house (with maybe the exception of SS 09) was mostly about daywear and individual pieces (jackets, coats, blouses, trousers, etc), with a few evening gowns closing the show. What is so unsellable about that?

I spoke about this before, but the problem at Ricci was that the details that he created were so haphazard, there was no way it can be simplified or recreated for production. In other words, it seemed he got lucky everytime he had to design a collection. Unfortunately, he couldn't see several steps ahead and create a collection that could go into production without problems. Many of his prints and dye jobs were done in a washing machine, something you have no control over.

He became so much of a liability that his talent meant nothing..the suits wanted him out of there.

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18-03-2009
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^^That's right...I remember you mentioning that before.

Hmmm...Olivier!

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21-03-2009
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wow...i miss the news! i thought he was doing a marvelous job at nina ricci! but than he is the kind of designer who has a personality regardless who he design for!


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21-03-2009
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I'd rather see him move on to do something all on his own, rather than to be restricted by the pre-established aesthetic he has to follow when designing for someone.

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21-03-2009
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^ I don't think that it's fair to say since both Rochas and Nina Ricci had extremely vague images prior to the time he worked for them, particularly Rochas.

He actually got lucky in both instances because he was really able to bring a lot of himself to both houses in he had wanted to.

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30-03-2009
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Originally Posted by karina_zb View Post
I'd rather see him move on to do something all on his own, rather than to be restricted by the pre-established aesthetic he has to follow when designing for someone.
He did have his line before and it fell due to the same problems. He did drop out of school, I'm not saying that this is the problem, but he has no idea what production has to go through to make his stuff. He REALLY needs a partner who can rein him in and make money for the company!

His track record is not good in terms of business. It's obvious he doesn't have money to completely fund his own label. It would be very hard for him to get a backer knowing what has happened at Rochas and Ricci. Businessmen LOVE to talk about good and bad business.


Last edited by educo; 30-03-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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While I'm not debating the fact that Theyskens is not particulary production friendly and has expensive habits...I do have to say that it is extremely frustrating that nobody is willing to guide him in the right direction/ invest in his future. His own label only lasted a few years, then 3 years at Rochas, and now only 3 years again at Ricci...he has to stop hopping from label to label. It becomes tiresome and aggravating.

It's like McQueen. The guy started in what, 1996? And he never generated a profit until 2008. That's 12 years of unprofitability. And yet, here he is now, a fashion mainstay, icon and legend who has long outlived his hype. Why can't investors treat Theyskens similarly? It can't simply be because of Olivier's difficult to produce designs, because it's not like McQueen was making sweater sets and tee-shirts, either.

I know fashion conglomerates don't have the best reputation, but I almost think Theyskens needs to be bought out by Gucci Group or LVMH so that cash cows labels can support his efforts.

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Last edited by dior_couture1245; 30-03-2009 at 11:11 PM.
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31-03-2009
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^ You have to remember though, making a profit and selling are two different things.

It's like at YSL. This year was the first year since Gucci purchased it and restructured the business that the label made a profit, even though it's been making money since Tom Ford took over in '01. It just took that long for the company to make more money than it spent to put all of the products out, even though almost all of there products were and are created with the intention that people should buy them.

I don't know for sure, but I'd assume that McQueen's own line did make some money even in his London days. It probably wasn't much, if any, but lucky for him he started working for Givenchy in '97 after he established himself as a talent to watch. I don't know what the business situation was with LVMH and what their stake in the McQueen line was, but I'm guessing that's what kept his label afloat (like with Galliano). Then before he was dropped by LVMH he sold a controlling share of his own company to Gucci Group, they put a proper business in place and at the same time McQueen's collections found a much better balance between the commercial and the creative (for the most part anyway). Then he added the accessories and the McQ line. So while his business was unprofitable for almost 15 years (I think he started in like 94) he was slowly making more and more money throughout that time while also having constant financial backing. Theyskens has never been in that position. He had his own label, and before he was able to find a "day job" or to balance wearability and creativity he was forced to shutter the label. Then at Rochas and Ricci he had no place to really let go with his imagination and instead put all of it into collections that were supposed to sell, but due to prices, difficulty in production and extreme limitations in terms of wearability (particularly at Rochas). So not only did he fail to make a profit (which really can take years and years for any label to make), he also didn't make a substantial enough amount of money for the company for them to want to keep him.

It's true though, if he is ever going to succeed as a fashion designer (and having all of the talent or imagination in the world doesn't make one successful as a designer) he needs a left brain type to balance him out, whether it's a business partner to work with or a larger company to work for. If he does decide to reboot his own label he needs to find a Pierre to his Yves or a DeSole/Pinault to his McQueen.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dior_couture1245 View Post
While I'm not debating the fact that Theyskens is not particulary production friendly and has expensive habits...I do have to say that it is extremely frustrating that nobody is willing to guide him in the right direction/ invest in his future. His own label only lasted a few years, then 3 years at Rochas, and now only 3 years again at Ricci...he has to stop hopping from label to label. It becomes tiresome and aggravating.

It's like McQueen. The guy started in what, 1996? And he never generated a profit until 2008. That's 12 years of unprofitability. And yet, here he is now, a fashion mainstay, icon and legend who has long outlived his hype. Why can't investors treat Theyskens similarly? It can't simply be because of Olivier's difficult to produce designs, because it's not like McQueen was making sweater sets and tee-shirts, either.

I know fashion conglomerates don't have the best reputation, but I almost think Theyskens needs to be bought out by Gucci Group or LVMH so that cash cows labels can support his efforts.
I honestly think that it might be the other way around, whereas Theyskens has the problem with investors. I was told by a little birdie that he does not take "guidance" very well. He is known to be very stubborn and it's really hurting him. If you want to be an artist, then go ahead, but not on someone else's dime. And it's becoming disrespectful that he keeps repeating the same mistakes.

I also don't think that being bought out is going to solve his problems. I mean, he had chances with big houses with big money and it didn't work. He really needs to sit down, shut up and listen for once.

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I think times were different then, when Gucci group and Prada did their big buying sprees in the early 2000's - look at how Prada sold both Jil Sander and Helmut Lang after only a few years... and believe me, I heard it many times by people in Prada that also Helmut, who reigned in the 90ies, was apparently unprofitable as hell for the group.

Olivier has had an investor in his own label too and it's because of the fact that she eventually decided to drop him (reasons as to why she did that are merely speculation) that he had to close down. With Rochas, I have said it many times before and I'm happily doing it again, the company was slowly but decidedly in the process of getting profitable and wearable (What people were seeing on the runway was really just a part of what they did, all of the floor length pieces they apparently had in short knee lengths too). The woman that ran the commercial development of the line was apparently the one that helped establish Balenciaga where it is now, she certainly knew her stuff... taking into account also that Rochas by Olivier Theyskens existed only for a mere 3 years, one should keep in mind that it was indeed faster growing than what people were thinking.

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Originally Posted by tricotineacetat View Post
With Rochas, I have said it many times before and I'm happily doing it again, the company was slowly but decidedly in the process of getting profitable and wearable (What people were seeing on the runway was really just a part of what they did, all of the floor length pieces they apparently had in short knee lengths too). The woman that ran the commercial development of the line was apparently the one that helped establish Balenciaga where it is now, she certainly knew her stuff... taking into account also that Rochas by Olivier Theyskens existed only for a mere 3 years, one should keep in mind that it was indeed faster growing than what people were thinking.
I remember that you've mentioned that several times, and it's stuck with me. That's why I'm saying that it's frustrating because tricotineacetat clearly is saying that Rochas was slowly making money and was slowly moving towards profitability. And then it shut down before it even had a chance.

Even if the poor guy is stubborn as a mule, I just wish that someone could work with him in a positive fashion...encouragement, realistic business strategies and goals, etc., etc., etc....because I get the feeling that so far, he's been expected to create a profitable, marketable, salable brand in very short amounts of time...and I'm sure that's part of the reason why maybe Olivier is so frustrating. While other designers have been given years to develop profits and saleability, it seems like he was only given 3. That must be frustrating, don't you think? You can't expect that from anyone...it's terribly unrealistic. It seems like people have too high expectations of him (business wise...the suits are clearly victims of his hype)...someone just needs to start from ground zero with him.

I know time is expensive, but it can often pay off.

And I know it sounds like I'm defending Olivier's expensive habits, but it's really only beacuse I want to see him succeed in the long run.

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01-04-2009
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^^^ I know you want him to succeed, I want it too. But business is business. We are in the era of fast profits. Whether it's through fast fashion, bags, perfume, cosmetics, the company has to make money somehow. But when Olivier is involved in a company where, I'm assuming, the majority of the profit is depended on the sales of apparel, everyone feels the pressure. And if you're an investment company or an angel investor who invested MILLIONS of dollars based on "talent" and projections, only to have the company return little profits after 3 years, well...what kind of talent is he, then?

At the end of the day, those who invest in the company are not interested in nurturing and coaxing artists. They're interested in profits ALONE. That's why they are in BUSINESS not ART/Fashion/expression, whatever you want to call it.

I spoke about this to a financial friend of mine and he says, at the end of the day, it's about the bottom line and seeing your investment return as soon as possible because these investors are probably answering to other people too. Also, they are probably managing other houses in their portfolio or know of others who are and they are always comparing notes. Always.

I don't think 3 years is too short especially given the hype and the status of the house. It's not like this was born yesterday. Even Anna Wintour couldn't save him. What does that say? There are so many people invested in Theyskens making the house successful, not just the suits, but the editors, all the way down to the damn janitor. And if he is costing the company too much money, then he has to go.

I think he needs time, to understand how the industry works. This is not studio time. He cannot afford to be that isolated as to not know how the domino affect works. Galliano understands this, and his shows are wild, so what's wrong with Olivier????


Last edited by educo; 01-04-2009 at 02:10 AM.
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Originally Posted by educo View Post
^^^ I know you want him to succeed, I want it too. But business is business. We are in the era of fast profits. Whether it's through fast fashion, bags, perfume, cosmetics, the company has to make money somehow. But when Olivier is involved in a company where, I'm assuming, the majority of the profit is depended on the sales of apparel, everyone feels the pressure. And if you're an investment company or an angel investor who invested MILLIONS of dollars based on "talent" and projections, only to have the company return little profits after 3 years, well...what kind of talent is he, then?

At the end of the day, those who invest in the company are not interested in nurturing and coaxing artists. They're interested in profits ALONE. That's why they are in BUSINESS not ART/Fashion/expression, whatever you want to call it.

I spoke about this to a financial friend of mine and he says, at the end of the day, it's about the bottom line and seeing your investment return as soon as possible because these investors are probably answering to other people too. Also, they are probably managing other houses in their portfolio or know of others who are and they are always comparing notes. Always.

I don't think 3 years is too short especially given the hype and the status of the house. It's not like this was born yesterday. Even Anna Wintour couldn't save him. What does that say? There are so many people invested in Theyskens making the house successful, not just the suits, but the editors, all the way down to the damn janitor. And if he is costing the company too much money, then he has to go.

I think he needs time, to understand how the industry works. This is not studio time. He cannot afford to be that isolated as to not know how the domino affect works. Galliano understands this, and his shows are wild, so what's wrong with Olivier????
What you were mentioning regarding the three years Olivier was given at Rochas is simply not correctly researched - it's not the shareholder's impatience with the fashion branches' incapability to turn profits after three years, it's the fact that Rochas had been sold as part of a bigger acquisition package by Procter & Gamble, that is now owning all name rights to Rochas (perfume and licensing, which they eventually sold again to Gibo). They admitted that when they decided to close the fashion branch, they simply hadn't got any insight in the high end luxury goods business themselves and that they were looking to sell the name rights for the fashion branch to other potential investors.

Other than that, do let me know of ANY fashion house which operates on on an equal investment scale (having a team of employees in the creation to assist the designer, a commercial as well as press department, a flagship boutique in the posh 8th district in Paris, a big show production in the Tuileries tents,...) that has ever turned profit after 3 years. I don't quite believe you have proper insight on how it looks like financially in a lot of designer's companies, I can tell you safely though that there are quite a couple in the red now for quite some time, that are struggling especially now or that have secretely gotten shareholder's cash infusions by now in order to survive.

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