As Lanvin continues its reinvention, three challenges that may be top-of-mind

With the departure of Bruno Sialelli after four years at the of Lanvin, the Parisian house will be looking to continue a reinvention that is already well underway.

According to media reports, the brand will be reorganised into four departments: womenswear, menswear, a new leather goods and accessories department, and Lanvin Lab, designed to facilitate collaborations with rising talent.

Lanvin’s sales peaked at €235 million under the late Alber Elbaz, who led the house through a period of creative glory that lasted for fourteen years. Sales plummeted following his departure, but under Sialelli they underwent a revival of sorts, rising to €121 million in 2022. The Lanvin team will be eager to continue this trajectory.

According to the brand, half of the business is now leather goods – a remarkable turnaround from the Elbaz years, when the focus was overwhelmingly on ready to wear. But Lanvin will undoubtedly be looking for new product categories and strategies to allow them to continue the lightning-fast pace they set last year.

While a successor to Sialelli has yet to be named, here are three challenges the company’s leadership are likely to be mulling over in the weeks ahead.

First, keeping the brand fresh and top-of-mind in the midst of a fashionscape that’s more competitive and youth-focused than ever. Maybe that’s the reasoning behind the introduction of Lanvin Lab, which could be tailor-made as a vehicle for creative collaborations with hot young designers – or perhaps influencers, musicians, and style icons.

Second, striking the right balance for young consumers. The Lanvin aeshetic is still defined in some ways by the spirit of Alber Elbaz, who gave the house much of its modern identity, and who specialised in sophisticated designs that appealed to women of all ages. But the brand has now firmly shifted its focus to leather goods and accessories, and may wish to expand into new product categories altogether – especially as it looks to raise its profile in new markets and geographies. That could call for a recalibration to appeal to young consumers in particular.

Third, building a creative partnership with staying power. Sialelli was the third designer to hold the top job at Lanvin since Alber Elbaz left in 2015 – and he lasted longer than his two predecessors, both of whom departed after just a year.

While there’s no definitive evidence that frequent changes of creative leadership are bad for the bottom line, the Lanvin team will undoubtedly be hunting for a designer with the long-term vision and stamina to lead on the next phase of this brand’s reinvention.

Article credits

Image: Lanvin S/S 2021 sourced from The Fashionography.

Written and researched by QVDN staff.