Designers. Sophia Kokosalaki Kicked to the Curb. Vionnet Embraces Marc Audibet. Second City Style Fashion Blog

Fountain of 30

May 25, 2007 • Magazine


Sophia Kokosalaki spring 2007


Sophia Kokosalaki spring 2007


Sophia Kokosalaki spring 2007


Sophia Kokosalaki spring 2007

Alas, we hardly knew ye.. or wait, we do and that’s why I am a bit surprised that Vionnet is parting ways with Sophia Kokosalaki in favor for former Ferragamo designer Marc Audibet. Sure, ownership changes but it’s not clear that the Deisel(what? who in the hell actually buys Deisel and then admits it?) boss Renzo Rossa would send Sophia packing. Apparently, FWD reports she will be concentrating on her own collection, which actually sounds smashing. I predict Audibet’s contribution to Vionnet will be inaudible.– Joanne Molina for Second City Style

Vionnet Appoints Marc Audibet; Kokosalaki Out

Godfrey Deeny
May 21st, 2007 @ 00:27 AM – Paris

legendary Paris fashion house of Madeleine Vionnet has appointed Marc
Audibet as its new Artistic Advisor, a somewhat novel title in fashion.

Audibet succeeds Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki, who will instead
concentrate on developing her own label. The decision was not
unexpected, ever since Diesel boss Renzo Rosso acquired a majority
stake in Kokosalaki in January of this year.

Back then, both Rosso and Kokosalaki insisted that their
partnership would have no effect in the designer’s position as Creative
Director of Vionnet, where she had been appointed in 2006. But
observers, nonetheless, expected the Greek designer to severe her ties
to the house.

Vionnet termed Audibet’s appointment "a new step in the dynamic
initiated in July 2006" of rebuilding the Paris house, which was
launched by Madeline Vionnet back in 1912.

However, a press release from the house offered no explanation as
to why Audibet’s title was the more modest sounding Artistic Advisor,
rather the more typical positions of Creative or Artistic Director,
never mind the simple term Designer.

The press release, which rather incredulously, calls Audibet the
"inventor of the Stretch," said the French-born designer would
"innovate and modernize" Vionnet. The term stretch was first used in
fashion in the Sixties, and while it’s true Audibet played a major role
in the development of elastic and Lycra mixed fabrics, these materials
first appeared in collections created by the designer in the late

That said, Audibet’s use of stretch to create simple, malleable yet
glamorous fashion means his style is very much in the same spirit as

Born in 1949, Audibet is a highly experienced designer who has done
stints at such prestigious houses as Hermès, Trussardi and Ferragamo,
in a career that has taken him from Italy to Japan. But perhaps his
most marketable skills were probably those learned over nine seasons at
Prada – the single most influential fashion brand of the current
century – albeit his time with the Italian label was during the 1990s.

"We are delighted that Marc Audibet provides us, with all his
sensibility to Vionnet, an enlarged vision of strategy and creativity"
said Vionnet CEO Arnaud de Lummen, whose family acquired the Vionnet
trademark back in 1988.

Audibet will unveil his first ideas for Vionnet with a
Spring/Summer 2008 collection in early July during the Paris haute
couture season, though not on a runway but by appointment only.

Madeleine Vionnet is an iconic designer in the world of fashion,
credited with inventing the bias cut and regarded by many as of the
greatest dressmaker of the 20th century. A unique mixture of glamour
and simplicity, Vionnet’s aesthetic appealed to many stars of the
Golden Age of Hollywood, notably Marlène Dietrich and Greta Garbo.

Vionnet opened her first boutique in Paris at 50 Ave Montaigne in
1923 and in New York store in 1925. Her house grew to employ 1,200
seamstresses, and was the first to create prêt-a-porter designs from
haute couture for the US market.

Vionnet closed down her house as World War II broke out in 1939, dying in 1975 at the venerable age of 99.

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One Response to Designers. Sophia Kokosalaki Kicked to the Curb. Vionnet Embraces Marc Audibet. Second City Style Fashion Blog

  1. robert says:

    Audibet would have been a better choice from the beginning… He is so much talented… But maybe it was good for Vionnet to have some youthness at the beginning… Hopefully, Sophia’s time at Vionnet is over… Audibet has always given strong directions to the brands he was working for… With Vionnet, it could be a real hit!!!

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