>> After yesterday's announcement that Olivier Theyskens is joining Theory as artistic director, today brings a little more insight. Theyskens, who will head up a team of 25 people, says that Theory has promised him total creative freedom. He added that despite his high fashion background, he feels capable of designing anything from a glass to a cellphone: “I feel completely in tune with this new orientation.”
Andrew Rosen, founder and co-CEO of Theory, says that since Theyskens starting working with the brand on his Theyskens' Theory capsule collection back in May, the idea of expanding the designer's role had been on his mind: “Working with Olivier on the initial concept for Theyskens’ Theory, I can’t say that I wasn’t thinking about this all along. This was a natural progression. In some ways, it may seem radical, but for Olivier and me, it was not radical at all. He has been involved in the culture of the company for the past six months.”
Theory has sales of over $500 million globally, and Rosen hopes that Theyskens, whose name is recognizable in fashion circles worldwide, will help build the brand's global profile. “I feel that Olivier’s creativity and energy is what we need for our global expansion,” he said. “The world evolves; people’s tastes evolve; and the way of life evolves. Fashion has to evolve too. This is a natural evolution. Companies cannot get stuck in one place. The culture of the company won’t change, but the energy and creativity will change because there is a new force involved. Even though the Theory business is very strong, I felt it was important to step up the game. I saw a great opportunity to infuse Theory not only creatively but also energetically with someone like Olivier.”
Theyskens will be responsible for building out everything from accessories to menswear, the latter which he hasn't done in the past. “I can’t wait,” Theyskens told WWD. “I haven’t designed men’s wear yet, but it’s been on my mind. I feel very comfortable doing men’s wear.” As for designing for the Theory brand at large, Theyskens notes: “It’s much bigger and slightly different, more an expression of a designer line, while the Theyskens' Theory was quite personal."
Theyskens just secured an apartment in New York's West Village, and though he will continue to spend time in Paris, he says of Manhattan living: “Everybody says there is such a good energy here and I agree.” Like Paris, he's also not leaving designer clothes behind; Theyskens said he is open to creating one-of-a-kind pieces for special occasions, but for now, he is interested in exploring more democratic fashion.