Photo: Elizabeth Lippman/New York Times

Lanvin welcomes Peter Copping as new artistic director

Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, the luxury fashion label is the world’s oldest continuously running couture house.

Leadership positions in the fashion industry have recently been experiencing shakeups. Just this June, Virginie Viard announced she was leaving Chanel after five years as creative director and a total of 36 years, having joined the brand in 1987. 

Then there’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino’s creative director, who announced he was exiting the Italian fashion house three months ago. The designer is being replaced by Alessandro Michele, who left his position as creative director of Gucci in 2022. In March, Dries Van Noten also confirmed he would be leaving his eponymous label after almost 40 years. Designer and creative director Sarah Burton, meanwhile, ended her longtime collaboration with British luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen in September 2023.

At Lanvin, Peter Copping will be in charge of womenswear and menswear collections as well as leather goods and accessories. Photo: Riccardo Olerhead/Vogue

Paris-based Lanvin joins the list of recent rejigs in the luxury fashion world as it announced veteran designer Peter Copping on Thursday, June 27, as its new artistic director. The fashion house has been searching for an artistic director since the departure of Bruno Sialelli in April 2023. Its last runway show was in March 2023 for Autumn/Winter 2023.

Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, the world’s oldest continuously running couture house will welcome Copping in September, according to a report by the Associated Press. At Lanvin, he will be in charge of womenswear and menswear collections, as well as leather goods and accessories. 

Peter Copping steps out to applause from the audience at the Oscar de la Renta Fall 2016 collection during Fashion Week in New York, Feb. 16, 2016. Photo: Associated Press

In an announcement posted on Instagram, Copping expressed his excitement over this appointment and his respect for the French couturier’s legendary founder. “Jeanne Lanvin was a visionary of her time whose interests and passions extended far beyond fashion, as do my own,” he wrote. “I am extremely honoured to have been chosen as Artistic Director of Lanvin and to be able, along with the atelier and teams, to write the next chapter for this iconic house.”

The British-born Copping is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art in London. He began his career at Sonia Rykiel, spent over a decade at Louis Vuitton as head of women’s ready-to-wear alongside Marc Jacobs, and later served as creative director at Nina Ricci in Paris and Oscar de la Renta in New York. 

Most recently, Copping led haute couture at Balenciaga in 2019, overseeing the reintroduction of the house’s couture collections. In 2022, became head of VIP and special projects ateliers at the house, working on the red carpet looks notably for the Oscars and the Met Gala.

The seasoned designer is best known for his feminine creations, as per an article on Vogue Business.

After that, Copping was hired as head of couture at Balenciaga in 2019 and,His “arrival at Lanvin marks a significant step in the renaissance of one of the great French houses,” said Siddhartha Shukla, Lanvin’s deputy general manager. Amid a trend of hiring artistic directors with more curator profiles to oversee marketing and image, it’s worth mentioning that Lanvin chose a couturier with “technical expertise.”

Lanvin, which recently celebrated its 135th anniversary, is a respected name in luxury ready-to-wear, leather goods, and accessories. Founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889, it stopped presenting on the haute couture calendar and closed its couture business after Claude Montana — the French designer known for his big-shoulder ’80s silhouettes — vacated in 1992 after a two-year stint.

When Alber Elbaz joined in 2001, according to Vogue, he turned the “dusty French house” into a favorite among women, known for its duchesse satin, cocktail dresses and statement jewelry. Perhaps, more importantly, Lanvin brought a couture aesthetic to ready-to-wear. 

French fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin (1867 – 1946) (right) with a model in Paris, 1920s. Photo: Harlingue/Roger Viollet via Getty Images

Since the ousting of the designer in 2015, however, the house was beset with a few challenging years. Owner Shaw-Lan Wang appointed Bouchra Jarrar to the creative helm in 2016; she left after a mere two seasons and was succeeded by Olivier Lapidus, who also left after just two seasons.

Sales took a nosedive to €35 million in 2020, down from €143 million in 2015, according to public filings. Sialelli held the role from 2019 to 2023.

Shukla has led a reboot since joining Lanvin in December 2021. The brand, which is now owned by China’s Lanvin Group (formerly Fosun Fashion Group), posted sales of €73 million in 2021 and €120 million in 2022. Lanvin sales decreased 7 percent to €112 million in 2023 on the year prior but gross profit increased to €65 million from €61 million in 2022.

Lanvin’s new South Coast Plaza boutique. Photo: Lanvin

In its annual earnings statement, the Lanvin Group attributed this improvement to “higher full-price sell-through, an increase in the balance of accessories versus ready-to-wear sales, a further shift to higher margin boutique sales, and better inventory management”. The group also includes in its roster Austrian skinwear specialist Wolford, menswear brand Caruso, and Italian shoemaker Sergio Rossi.

“As Lanvin Group’s flagship brand, Lanvin is an integral part of our family,” Zhen Huang, chairman of Lanvin Group said in a statement. “With the nomination of Peter Copping, we look forward to the maison’s continued transformation and growth.”

Associate Editor

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