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Vionnet Designers Barbara and Lucia Croce May Leave Brand

Vionnet Designers Have "Interrupted" Their Time at the Brand

Vionnet confirmed in a statement Tuesday that twin sister designers "Barbara and Lucia Croce have, currently, interrupted their collaboration with Vionnet SpA."

The statement went on to say that work on the label's Spring 2013 collection "is being carried out by the in-house design team and we will be proud to present it on the 28 Sept. in Paris, where we will also be celebrating 100th anniversary of the brand on the 30 of Sept. with a special event and presentation of the Demi Couture collection." Whether the Croce sisters will return is not known.

The statement confirms reports from Monday suggesting the sisters would leave the storied brand after having disagreements with their new boss, Goga Ashkenazi.

Ashkenazi's London-based private equity firm Go To Enterprise bought a controlling stake in the house just three months ago. At the time, the purchase was billed as a move to accelerate "the strategic development of the fashion house," but now it seems to be writing another chapter in Vionnet's beleaguered modern development. Since French businessman Arnaud de Lummen revived it in 2006, the house has seen five creative administrations: Sophia Kokosalaki — who will leave her current post at Diesel Black Gold next month — designed the brand's first collection in 67 years for Spring 2007. She left in 2008 and was replaced by Prada alum Marc Audibet. When he left in February 2008, the house appointed an unnamed team of designers to create the line. (De Lummen told WWD, "Vionnet doesn't need to be associated with a designer's name, it's an institution.")

When former Valentino chairman Matteo Marzotto acquired the brand in February 2009, he appointed designer Rodolfo Paglialunga as creative director. Paglialunga left Vionnet in October 2011 and was replaced by the Croce sisters.

Photo of Barbara and Lucia Croce via Vionnet.

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