May 13, 2021

Designers on the Sidelines: Former Stars Seek New Worlds

LONDON — Where are they now? Observing fashion from the sidelines — or plotting their next move?
After years — sometimes decades — of headlining major fashion houses, unprecedented numbers of design talents are no longer working in the 24/7 glare of the industry.
They’ve quit their jobs — or been sacked. Some are taking extended sabbaticals or focusing on their personal lives. Others have moved on to new industries, or are thinking of fresh approaches in a fast-changing fashion world.
Designers who were once much fawned over and who are now on the sidelines include Riccardo Tisci, Alber Elbaz, Hedi Slimane, Stefano Pilati, Peter Copping, Francisco Costa, Rodolfo Paglialunga, Frida Giannini and Marco Zanini, to name a few. The latest left idle is Bouchra Jarrar, who exited Lanvin after showing just two collections for the house.
The cutthroat nature of the industry means big-name designers are treated like European Premier League football managers: No matter how talented you are, it’s one bad season, and you’re out, said professor Frances Corner, head of the London College of Fashion.
Industry observers — and those who work with designers — say it’s a sign of these fast-paced, digitally driven times, where the pressure is on to deliver multiple

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