French designer Jean Paul Gaultier released a statement last week through WWD where he announced the exit of his namesake brand from ready to wear. Reasons for this action lie on the volatile state of the market and the frenetic pace of collections. Gaultier isn't the first designer to address the troubled condition of the industry; with designers such as Azzedine Alaïa, Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford commenting on the difficulty of satisfying the on growing fast-paced demand. With the much needed focus on pre collections of pre-fall and pre-spring, some designers have fell short of time to properly resolute their main collections.
Retrospectively, there's 4 collections year-round, and that's just taking ready to wear womenswear in consideration. For brands immersed in menswear, haute couture, and diffuser lines, it's pretty much a non-stop job. Between sketching, pattern-making and sampling, it's no wonder some brands are suffering from time-sensitive matters. Consider, for one moment, designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Muiccia Prada, Alexander Wang, and Raf Simons; how do they do it?
Even highly mastered designers such as Nicolas Ghesquière -who had just exited from Balenciaga at the time- have taken into discussion the creative pressure designers are bound to abide.
The pace of the industry at which the market is thriving to react, is moreover a strong force to compel. Gaultier is one of very few designers that have stepped down from the industry's unsettling drive; in this particular case, citing to focus on perfumery, couture and 'various other projects'. This will mean a lot more time for experimentation and a raise in creative freedom, whereas bidding up expectations.
Author Alex Márgary
Photo by Matthew Lloyd