Nina Ricci Spring Summer 2022? Review by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.
Nina Ricci is a fashion house founded by Maria “Nina” Ricci and her son Robert in Paris in 1932, and owned by the Spanish beauty and fashion group Puig since 1998. Puig also manages Jean Paul Gaultier brand. So we can’t say anything about management of the owner of these brands.
It is known 3 years of bad choices and management can completely burn the house down, ruin reputation to non-existence. And that’s what happened to Nina Ricci house – one of the oldest wonderful houses with rich history. Sad story starts with appointing new CEO in March 2018…
In March 2018 Charlotte Tasset was appointed…. She was not able to answer me back there who made a decision to actually sell the archives on auctions, but shortly enough Charlotte Tasset announced that there’s no more archives in the Nina Ricci house.
She also decided that old and loyal ladies, even 3d generation of some French and English families who were buying and tailoring their suits and dresses in Nina Ricci, are no longer interest of the house. She didn’t announce it this way of course, but she meant it when she said that now Nina Ricci house will focus on young generation of buyers.
What it means exactly? It means that Nina Ricci house was no longer designing and tailoring for the clients they used to have. Charlotte Tasset appointed young couple, Dutch designers Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, who had no idea about the house and its history.
Dutch designers Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh were picked up by Charlotte Tasset after winning LVMH Prize for the best compilation in menswear. Their winning collection for LVMH Prize is a collection compelling looks of Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Jean Paul Gaultier, and mainly resembled student work, some sort of “we also can do it”.
“They gave us a blank page,” said Lisi Herrebrugh to me at a preview of the new collection in September 2019, with disregard to distinctive design signature of the founder Nina Ricci, who brought Italian classy looks to France. She was the one of the first designers from XIX century, with culture of great tailor and contemporary dare. She was the first one who brought African-inspired cocktail djellaba to French fashion in 1966. Nina Ricci left massive archives from 1883 – 1970. Elegance, grace, couture, creative design were the 4 pillars which made this house worldwide known and loved. French and English aristocracy were the loyal customers. But this was in the past.
But none of this survived under new management of Charlotte Tasset. And the young designers without a slightest idea did what we call “compilation” from known trends today, and something what in their opinion should look like a luxury French house. Desire to bring new young generation to the house became fiasco. House lost old generation of the customers, but for the last 3 years was not able to attract new generation. Quality of the fabrics, and couture dropped quite low. Today in Galeries Lafayette in Paris you can see pieces of Nina Ricci in sales, as if Black Friday is all year long for this house. And indeed who would like to buy badly sewed pieces of fabric (some silk or linen) for 1500 euros?
Making expensive compilations, resembling ordinary student work, didn’t bring to the house any new interest. Creative images, creative marketing, couture might work, but nowhere to be found. And now getting DIGITAL demanded creative approach.
“Dull amateur video made for this Spring Summer 2021 simply could not make it happen. Actually nothing happened. Do you know how many people were interested in the presentation of Nina Ricci Spring Summer 2021 collection today? 126 people, including me, from 56 000 subscribers. I have to say – Bravo, feeling very sad about this new management of the house, waste… terrible waste, which leads to non-existence.” – I wrote it 1 year ago in my review of Spring Summer 2021 collection.
Already in 2019 I talked to Charlotte Tasset and proposed to her our expertise and create digital concept for Nina Ricci, videos and animations, which would work for the old and new clients. She laughed and said that she doesn’t need any of this, and invited me for the show to see the new collection. She said that I’ll be very surprised.
Well… I was not, and even less now. Already 1 year ago I predicted that this wonderful luxury brand soon will cease to exist. And…. unfortunately …. that’s what actually happened.
In April 2021 historic Nina Ricci flagship store at 39 Avenue Montaigne, across the street from Dior, was closed and its windows were covered with stickers bearing the Paco Rabanne brand. This Nina Ricci boutique known since 1950s. For more than 70 years this wonderful store welcomed gracious ladies.
Well… like new CEO of Nina Ricci Charlotte Tasset said to me “We don’t need any of this”…. and brought this house down.
What is left of Nina Ricci today? well… almost nothing. Nina Ricci can’t even afford anymore to do the physical show when finally we can get back to presentations (even in salons).
The catalog of new Nina Ricci collection for spring summer 2022 season was distributed today to the media with 28 pieces, resembling all designers and no one, with flowers and fishnet dresses.
So putting a question mark on the title of this article I mean to say that I don’t think that Nina Ricci will actually exist to the Spring Summer 2022 season. The perfumes are still having great success but without history and ground I don’t think even the perfumes can survive longer than 3-4 years. The Name of Nina Ricci will fade away, as there’s no one to keep its history.