More than 50 years after its shuttering (and almost 40 years after the death of its brilliant founder), the house of Schiaparelli is set to relaunch just as its name once again reaches the prominence it had in the pre-war years.
To coincide with the opening of the Met Costume Institute’s retrospective exhibit Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, Italian business tycoon Diego Della Valle announced the official relaunch earlier this week. Though the brand has remained dormant, even since being acquired by the titan in 2006, Della Valle plans on giving the old house a contemporary update, saying that it “doesn’t have to get involved in the frenetic world of numbers, accounts and dimensions, but it just has to express itself at its best.”
Since Schiaparelli is expected to surpass Tom Ford and Chanel in price point, we think that’s Della Valle’s way of saying, “Don’t worry about how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it anyway.” With no plans for a prêt-à-porter (only prêt-à-couture) collection, no advertising budget, no wholesale plans, no e-commerce sites and only a single location at Place Vendôme, Schiaparelli is slated to become one very exclusive label.
The Schiaparelli team has yet to appoint a designer to helm the brand, so naturally the fashion community is abuzz with talk of whose creative vision will steer the newly awakened couture house. W’s Stefano Tonchi threw John Galliano’s name into the mix, saying, “Very soon they will make the announcement, so I already know a little bit too much. But I thought that it could be fun to have John back doing it—as in, Galliano.” To all those Galliano fans out there, too bad Tonchi was speaking in past tense.
Her World Singapore: “It might have been a good fit, but… Insiders see John Galliano as ‘risky’ and unlikely choice for Schiaparelli.” [Her World Singapore]
Diego Della Valle: “[Just because it] is not commercial, does not mean it won’t be profitable,” he tells Friedman. “There are a lot of rich people in the world who want something very special.”[New York Fashion]
Randi Bergman, online editor: “Given Elsa Schiaparelli’s penchant for the absurd and the promise of holier-than-thou price points, it seems like the brand’s relaunch will be all about the show. And if a show’s what they want, Galliano’s surely the man for the job. It seems like a great fit, but I don’t know how excited I will be about my favourite label of all time being helmed by a man that I still haven’t quite forgiven yet.”