The New Head Fashion Designers

Expect some changes on the runways, here is the latest checklist of head designers from top fashion houses. From Cacharel and Balmain to Chloe and Sonia Rykiel, learn who is designing your favorite labels.


The designers: Ling Liu and Dawei Sun

Studied at: Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris. Background: Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent (Liu); Lolita Lempicka, Balenciaga, John Galliano (Sun). “Definitely freshness,” say the designers about what Cacharel stands for. “It is a brand that’s innovative and that’s not afraid of renewing itself. It’s courageous and gritty, always in search of something new.”
Next show: March 3 in Paris.


The designer: Olivier Rousteing

Studied at: Esmod (École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode). Background: Before joining Balmain in 2009, where he was in charge of women’s wear until succeeding Decarnin, Rousteing spent five years at Roberto Cavalli.
Next show: March 1 in Paris.

Balmain Resort 2012


The designer: Mathilde Castello Branco

Studied at: École Duperré and Atelier Chardon Savard, both in Paris. Background: Before being named creative director at Azzaro, Branco spent 10 years at Lanvin, working alongside Alber Elbaz. Previously, she worked at Hermès and then Maison Martin Margiela. “Azzaro for me is about sensuality and glamour,” she says.
Next show: Feb. 29 in Paris.

Azzaro Resort 2012


The designer: Clare Waight Keller

Studied at: Royal College of Art and the Ravensbourne College of Art, both in London. Background: Worked at Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Pringle of Scotland before joining Chloé in June 2011. Keller calls the Chloé customer “a confident, free-spirited woman with an easy, relaxed style.” The clothes have “that unique blend of French sophistication and English cool.”
Next show: March 4 in Paris.


The designers: Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi

Studied at: Neither has a fashion background. Citron worked in photography before switching to fashion; Piaggi studied architecture. Background: Worked together at Byblos and Mila Schön before being hired at Ferré as freelance designers to help on the spring 2011 collection. The two were named creative directors in November 2011.
Next show: Feb. 27 in Milan.

Gianfranco ferre S/S 2012


The designer: Yoshiyuki Miyamae

Studied at: Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. Background: Miyamae joined the Miyake Design Studio and worked with Dai Fujiwara and Issey Miyake on the A-POC project in 2001. He later became a member of the Issey Miyake team in 2006 and was appointed creative director in 2011. “When I think of Issey Miyake, I think of a brand that keeps evolving in pursuit of making things beyond people’s imagination,” Miyamae says.
Next show: March 4 in Paris.

Issey Miyake S/S 2012


The designer: Bill Gaytten

Studied at: The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College in London. Background: Gaytten worked alongside John Galliano at the namesake label for more than 20 years, designing both the men’s and women’s collections, and at Christian Dior. (Gaytten took a bow at the recent spring/summer haute couture show for Christian Dior, but no one has yet been appointed as designer of that house.)
Next show: March 4 in Paris


Designers: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim

Studied at: University of California at Berkeley. Background: They are the founders of Opening Ceremony, the influential retailer started in a small storefront on Howard Street in downtown Manhattan in 2002. Their first collection for the once-influential fashion house was shown in October to generally good reviews. “With these first steps in our journey at Kenzo, we’ve tapped into our own feeling of excitement and adventure in coming to Paris — similar, we imagine, to what Kenzo Takada [the founder] must have felt himself,” say the designers.
Next show: March 4 in Paris


The designer: Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Studied at: Kingston University in London. Background: Worked at MaxMara, Christophe Lemaire and Cerruti before being appointed artistic director of Lacoste in September 2010. He showed his first collection, spring/summer 2012, during New York fashion week last September.
Next show: Feb. 11 in New York.

Lacoste S/S 2012


The designer: Alistair Carr

Studied at: Central St. Martins in London. Background: Before being named design director of Pringle in March 2011, Carr spent four years as head of show collections under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. “Pioneers of luxury knitwear,” are what Carr calls his predecessors at Pringle.
Next show: Feb. 20 in London


The designer: April Crichton

Studied at: Edinburgh College of Art and Central St. Martins. Background: The Scottish designer has worked for the company since her graduation from Central St. Martins and helped start the bridge line Sonia by Sonia Rykiel in 1998.
Next show: March 2 in Paris.


source: Tmagazine