The New (Old) Fashion Houses

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

Courtesy Leonard
OF 7

Leonard: Yiquing Yin

The Backstory
Founded in 1958 by Jacques Leonard and Daniel Tribouillard, the fallen label is synonymous with a hothouse of floral prints (most notably the once ubiquitous orchid)—signatures that have been a blessing and a curse, as evidenced by the doomed recent attempts by Raffaele Borriello to reinvigorate the brand without being tethered to all things flowered.

The Reaction
In her debut collection shown in March, Yiquing Yin, a couturier by trade, succeeded where her predecessor failed. She dipped into the Leonard archive of more than 5,000 prints, which she digitally doctored to use in her beguiling collection of asymmetric dresses, oversized coats and soft sweaters.

The Outlook
If the conservative house is genuinely committed to letting Yin “truly renew the house,” as company president Tribouillard told journalists backstage, the talented Chinese-born designer stands a good chance to move Leonard beyond the little floral dress.