Rumors have been swirling for weeks about tensions between Nina Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens and the heads of Puig Fashion Group, which owns the label. Theyskens’s contract is up at the end of October, but according to rumors, negotiations to renew hadn’t been going well. Puig seems determined to take the label in a more commercial direction in the economic downturn, launching a line of handbags and a startlingly commercial ad campaign to sell them. Indeed, Theyskens’s spring collection was not well received by buyers. At the end of last month, WWD reported that Peter Copping, who works under Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, is being eyed to replace Theyskens, raising the possibility that Theyskens would exit the house before his fall 2009 collection walked next month. However, a temporary version of the Paris Fashion Week schedule was just released, and Theyskens’s Nina Ricci show is on the calendar for 7 p.m. on March 5.
On the surface, people seem to be getting along. Fashionologie noticed that Theyskens sat at the same table as Nina Ricci president Manuel Puig at a charity event in Paris last month. We can’t expect them to throw rolls at each other, but things looked genial in pictures. Now we’re left to wonder if Theyskens’s fall 2009 collection will err in the direction of the spring campaign or give retailers the innovation they sorely missed from his spring collection.