Fashion Diary: Christian Lacroix files for bankruptcy protection
Sad to hear the news this morning that Christian Lacroix has filed for bankruptcy protection, and just when his exuberant, puffed-up, 1980s-era designs were starting to come back into fashion, too. Marc Jacobs borrowed heavily from Lacroix's aesthetic for his fall Louis Vuitton collection, and Freida Pinto wore a Lacroix gown to the Golden Globes earlier this year. But Lacroix himself hasn't gotten much attention from the fashion world recently.
Once in the brand portfolio of powerful luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the Lacroix business was sold to the Florida-based Falic group in 2005. Since then, many editors and buyers have skipped his runway shows, and his clothes have not been widely distributed in U.S. department stores (There is a Lacroix boutique at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and another in New York City.) The New York Times said ready-to-wear sales for the autumn season were down 35% and losses for 2008 were about $14 million.
Lacroix is one of the last remaining French haute couturiers, and the decline in his business represents another nail in the coffin for fashion's most artistic tradition, and calls into question how many independent luxury labels will survive the financial crisis. Independent Italian luxury brand Versace was in the news last week after it posted first quarter losses of 13% and rumors swirled over whether its chief executive would leave the company.
Lacroix plans to host a small couture presentation in July. I hope he pulls out of this. I first interviewed him in Milan when he was designing for Emilio Pucci in 2002 and he is the sweetest man, one of the few designers who always has a smile on his face.
Top picture: French designer Christian Lacroix acknowledges applause at the end of the presentation of his Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2007-2008 collection, in Paris, Tuesday, July 3, 2007. Credit: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon.
Bottom picture: Freida Pinto, left, and Dev Patel on stage during the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday Jan. 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Credit: AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater.