The New (Old) Fashion Houses

Dominique Charriau-Wireimage

The mainstays of European fashion are being given another lease on life by their newly appointed designers.

Air-kissing and backstabbing are so démodé! As any fashion observer worth her Manolos can attest, the pastime du jour is designer musical chairs.

Not since the early aughts, when aging stars like Yves Saint Laurent called it a day and clinically dead concerns like Lanvin, Nina Ricci and Grès turned to designers like Alber Elbaz, Lars Nilsson and Olivier Theyskens to apply the defib paddles, has there been such a wholesale shake-up at some of the world’s most venerable fashion houses.

Schiaparelli tapped Marco Zanini of Rochas to guide the label’s reentry into the fashion sphere. Zanini’s departure from Rochas created an opportunity there for his compatriot Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who left Les Copains in order to take up the position.

Elsewhere, perennial sleepers Vionnet, Moschino and Leonard also named new designers, as did Loewe, the Spanish luxury-goods powerhouse, which hired Irish media darling Jonathan Anderson to helm its women’s and men’s divisions after Stuart Vevers decamped for Coach.

And proving that it’s not just moribund or long-dormant labels that are making changes at the top of the creative ladder, Louis Vuitton, the LVMH cash cow, announced last November that Nicolas Ghesquière (pictured above at his fall/winter 2014–2015 show during Paris Fashion Week) had been chosen as its new head designer after Marc Jacobs stepped down to focus on his namesake label.

It’s all a bit dizzying, but as anyone who has played musical chairs knows, half the fun is seeing who is eliminated from the game. Herewith, a look at the biggest players in the current round.