Fosun-Owned High-Fashion Label Lanvin Welcomes New Creative Director

After a rudderless hiatus, financial turmoil and a change in ownership, storied 130-year-old French luxury brand Lanvin has named its new creative director.

Bruno Sialelli, 31, a relatively unknown name in the fashion industry, was appointed on Monday as Lanvin’s new creative head to lead the brand’s transformation of both its women’s and men’s collections, according to a statement on the brand’s official WeChat account.

It’s the first major move at one of the oldest fashion houses in the world since Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group purchased it a year ago. Founded in 1889 by legendary haute couture designer Jeanne Lanvin, Lanvin was made famous by a list of celebrity fans as long and diverse as Rita Hayworth, Meryl Streep and Beyoncé.

A 1939 Lanvin design, courtesy of the company.

Will Sialelli do enough to recapture its power and presence? He previously worked as the men’s designer for the Spanish luxury brand Loewe, directly reporting to celebrity creative designer J.W. Anderson. He also had worked for a list of high-profile fashion houses including Balenciaga, Acne Studios and Paco Rabanne.

Lanvin said what excited the brand most about Sialelli was his accuracy in interpreting its heritage and history and the ability to rejuvenate the brand image to make it appealing to the younger generation.

Lanvin was among the most profitable fashion houses in the early 2000s under the creative direction of Alber Elbaz, who left the brand in October 2015 owing to disagreements with its largest shareholder, Taiwan-based media mogul Shaw-Lan Wang. Elbaz’s departure impacted Lanvin’s designs and sent sales into freefall, and the brand has been on the verge of bankruptcy since 2017.

Vintage Lanvin, courtesy of the company

Sialelli is the fourth creative director to helm the fashion house after fellows Alber Elbaz, Bouchra Jarrar, and Olivier Lapidus, and he is also the first since Lanvin was acquired by China’s Fosun Group in early 2018.

Ever since Gucci’s turnaround after working with the then-unknown designer Alessandro Michele, many labels such as Bottega Veneta and Lanvin have followed in its footsteps to try to replicate the success. Lanvin’s next fashion show at Paris Fashion Week will be crucial to see Sialellit’s vision to revamp the brand.