"Yvan is a really talented designer," von Furstenberg said. "He joined DVF almost three years ago, and he helped me to brand it. He was very, very helpful. I think he had a good time. He saw a whole other way of seeing fashion and doing fashion, and then he felt like his mission was accomplished, so we parted."
Citing a press release from von Furstenberg's team, previous reports said Mispelaere would not be replaced, and that an in-house team would lead the design process. But the designer herself — who has counted Catherine Malandrino among her creative directors — seemed open to bringing another young designer into the fold.
"I think that he put together a really dynamic team," she said of Mispelaere. "There's a lot of talented designers, and I love the idea of having a laboratory."
Von Furstenberg was similarly vague about the implications of another staff change: the hiring of former Tommy Hilfiger executive Joel Horowitz as cochairman. Some have suggested Horowitz will help the company go public, but von Furstenberg wouldn't discuss specifics of his job.
"I realize that I have created a brand. And I look back and there's a big body of work and there's a huge recognition," she said. "I really have an asset — that's something that can go on after me. . . . It's a platform to build the next step."