The rumors about Peter Copping heading design at Nina Ricci are true. On Monday, the ex–Louis Vuitton designer assumed the post Olivier Theyskens left behind last month and is working on a resort collection to be unveiled in late June. However his first runway show won't take place until next March to allow him sufficient time to immerse himself in the label before his big coming-out at Paris Fashion Week. We wonder if the heads of Puig Fashion Group, which owns Ricci, wanted to give the industry time to forget how amazing Theyskens's last collection for the house was.
It would be extraordinarily difficult for Copping to measure up to that level of acclaim with his first show. Theyskens's fall 2009 goth-tinged collection, replete with endless trains and what looked like twelve-inch heels, was a fantasy. Though his collections for the house garnered critical acclaimed, they never translated to commercial success, which probably explains why Puig got rid of him. “I think Peter’s very tuned into the consumer [who is] a very real woman,” Puig head Mario Grauso told WWD. Last month when Theyskens's dismissal was announced, the house said it wanted to "reorientate its development strategy for the years to come." Copping says he wants to focus on not just froufrou details, but the tailoring Ricci is known for. He also plans to expand Nina Ricci accessories (luxury brands tend to cash in on handbag sales more than clothing sales). Ricci poached a few small-leather-goods designers from Vuitton to help him.
It's still unclear what Theyskens will do. Rumors have swirled that he'll helm Halston, revive Schiaparelli, or revive his namesake line. WWD reports today that the designer is mulling relaunching his own label.