Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 10, 2019
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Lanvin revamps archives for 130th anniversary

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 10, 2019

Lanvin is 130 years old and has never looked younger. The oldest French couture house still in business, founded in 1889 in Paris, has brought back to life its archives, exactly replicating some models from last century that still look utterly contemporary, in a unique initiative for its anniversary, which will be celebrated with a capsule collection and an exhibition in Shanghai.

The Art Deco-inspired ‘Guilhem’ set from winter 1920 - Lanvin

Bruno Sialelli, the label's creative director since last January, has conceived the 130th Anniversary collection primarily to emphasise Jeanne Lanvin's modernity. Sialelli delved into the label's archives and selected three exceptional items designed by Lanvin’s founder, which will be exactly replicated in a limited-edition collection.

The ‘Guilhem’ set from winter 1920, featuring a georgette ruffle tunic whose sleeves are decorated with black geometric appliqué bordered with tiny white pearls, and a black dress with an Art Deco plastron, will be reproduced in 18 copies, and so will a silk crepe blouse with gold sequins from summer 1927. The ‘Minuit’ overcoat with black Bakelite embroidery, from summer 1936, will instead be available in 13 copies.

Alongside this mini collection, called ‘Reedition’, Sialelli designed a capsule collection consisting of highly contemporary items like long jersey cotton dresses, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sneakers, jeans, scarves, handbags, eyewear and hats, all featuring classic Lanvin details and motifs from the beginning of last century.

For example, the famous ‘Angel’ design from the end of the 1930s, which Jeanne Lanvin borrowed from the art of Italian 15th century painter Fra Angelico, the renowned gilded bottle cap of the Arpège perfume, and the original Jeanne Lanvin logo in italic script. The capsule collection will also feature an Asian-style printed motif from the 1920s.

“In total, 1,000 ready-to-wear items and 800 accessories items will be available from December at [Lanvin’s] Chinese stores and on lanvin.com,” as the label indicated in a press release. The collection reconnects with Lanvin’s signature spirit, especially its Art Deco aesthetic blending exotic, ethnographic, religious and even medieval influences. It is also a clever way of promoting the label's history and expertise, especially in China, the market where Lanvin is most keen to expand.

Two models from Lanvin's anniversary collection - Lanvin

At the start of 2018, Lanvin was bought by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, via the latter’s Fosun Fashion Group subsidiary. Now led by Jean-Philippe Hecquet, the label wants to generate between 35 and 40% of its sales in China. And in Shanghai, where Lanvin recently opened a flagship store - its seventh in China - in the BFC-Bund Finance Center, the label is also staging the ‘Dialogues’ commemorative exhibition, hosted by the Fosun Foundation. Until February 9, the exhibition will showcase 75 models retracing the label’s history.

After Lanvin was bought by Fosun, its creative studio has been strengthened in order to focus more on accessories, which are expected to become a new growth driver for the label, with the goal of generating nearly 50% of its sales within three years.

Lanvin currently operates 26 monobrand stores and is sold in 30 countries, its main markets being the USA, China, Europe - especially France, Italy and the UK - and also the Middle East.

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