In a surprising and eagerly anticipated move, the illustrious Azzaro fashion house has appointed Olivier Theyskens as its new Artistic Director, igniting excitement throughout the fashion world.
Theyskens will assume a pivotal role, overseeing Azzaro’s Couture collections, Ready-to-Wear lines, and Women’s and Men’s accessories. This announcement marks a monumental shift in the landscape of Parisian fashion, as Theyskens is widely recognized as one of the industry’s most naturally gifted designers.
«I am thrilled about this opportunity. Azzaro has an incredible legacy that I am eager to explore and interpret. The brand has left an enduring positive impact, and people hold fond memories of Loris Azzaro,» shared Theyskens in an exclusive interview with FashionNetwork.com.
A native of Brussels and a distinguished alumnus of La Cambre fashion and design college, Theyskens is set to unveil his inaugural collection for Azzaro during the forthcoming haute couture catwalk season in Paris, scheduled for July 2020. His creative hub will be positioned in the heart of the fashion world, at Azzaro’s workshops on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Theyskens also affirmed his commitment to maintaining his own signature collections, with his next runway show slated for February 28.
«Loris Azzaro has left behind an immense, incredibly inspiring legacy. I am excited, honored, and thrilled to have the opportunity to infuse my vision into this legendary, iconoclastic House, where freedom and pleasure have always been contemporary values. I aim to carry forward this distinctive universe through my collections, while adding my personal touch,» Theyskens expressed.
The Belgian designer first gained global recognition in 1998 when Madonna graced the Oscars in one of his black satin dresses when he was just 20 years old. Since then, he has amassed a wealth of experience and accolades. Within four years of his Oscars moment, he assumed the role of creative director at Rochas and was awarded the CFDA International Award in 2006, all while still in his twenties. After a successful stint at Rochas, Theyskens took on the position of Artistic Director at Nina Ricci, dressing Hollywood stars like Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker for red carpet appearances. From 2010 to 2015, he helmed Theory in New York, rebranded as Theyskens’ Theory in his honor, before returning to Paris to focus on his own signature collection, consistently earning acclaim for his daring draping techniques, subtle historical references, and infusion of bold sophistication.
Gabriel de Linage, Azzaro’s CEO, enthusiastically welcomed Theyskens to the brand: «His renowned talent, extensive experience, and creative vision will breathe new life into the House with enthusiasm and a touch of brilliance. Olivier Theyskens possesses a rare ability to immerse himself in a legacy and rejuvenate it with a contemporary flair. His appreciation for assertive sensuality and the seamless interplay of materials and cuts naturally align with the essence of Loris Azzaro’s style and iconic muses. We are thrilled to have him join our House and our historic workshops.»
Founded in 1967 in Paris by Loris Azzaro, the fashion house quickly became synonymous with couture for the Jet Set. Azzaro dressed iconic figures like Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, and Liza Minelli in the cult classic film, Cabaret. In 1988, President François Mitterrand awarded Azzaro the Légion d’honneur, recognizing his signature high-glamour style that seamlessly blended body-conscious dressing with opulent pearls, precious stones, and fantastical costume jewelry.
Following the passing of the founder in 2003, the house experienced a series of designer transitions, including Vanessa Seward, Mathilde Castello Branco, and Maxime Simoëns. However, Olivier Theyskens undeniably marks a new and exciting chapter for Azzaro, a brand under the ownership of Reig Capital since 2006.