>> LVMH is taking its time with the announcement of Dior's new designer, and it sounds like the decision still has yet to be made. At a recent shareholders' meeting, Bernard Arnault said the plan was to interview a number of candidates before making the call when "conviction" arrives.
But who's reportedly on the short list of candidates Bernard Arnault's advisors have submitted? Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane, Olivier Theyskens, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung, and Sarah Burton. However, a source in Paris told WWD that LVMH is placing less importance on marquee names and focusing rather on “someone who understands Dior and fits the needs of the company.”
While Arnault, chairman of the board at Dior, is sure to get the final say on the appointee, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, who has helmed the company since 1998, and Delphine Arnault (Bernard's daughter), deputing managing director at Dior and widely viewed as the eventual LVMH heir apparent, are also expected to weigh in. Apparently Dior execs are also receiving unsolicited designer suggestions from top editors and even shareholders.
Delphine, for her part, is seen as a champion of Riccardo Tisci; the Givenchy designer has reportedly been lobbying for the position as well, sketching out his vision for the brand. Bernard Arnault, meanwhile, is reportedly transfixed by royalty, and if Sarah Burton does dress Kate Middleton for her wedding at the end of the month (despite Burton's and the McQueen company's denials), she may pull ahead in the race. Arnault would be keen to launch the new Dior alongside the newly-married couple; Princess Diana, after all, helped catapult the brand's image in 1995 when she wore a Lady Dior bag and then in 1996 when she wore a midnight blue, bias-cut Dior gown by John Galliano to the Costume Institute Gala.
In the meantime, design duties are falling on Dior's in-house design studios, headed by Bill Gaytten, who has worked beside Galliano since the '80s. They're already creating the Cruise 2012 collection and have started in on the upcoming Fall 2011 couture collection, in preparation for its debut in July.