Designer Yolanda Zobel exits fashion label Courreges

PARIS • German fashion designer Yolanda Zobel has parted company with Courreges, less than two years after she was brought in to revive the French fashion label.

Her departure comes just a month before she was meant to show her latest autumn-winter collection at Paris fashion week.

Courreges said she is leaving after they "mutually decided to end their collaboration".

She will now "focus on new creative projects", the brand added in a statement.

Zobel - who drew inspiration from Berlin's dance scene - was seen as a breath of fresh air when she was brought in in February 2018 to rethink the brand, which is best known for its 1960s futurist look.

She vowed to bring Courreges back to its mould-breaking roots and create "a whole new universe for a free human... engaged and yet able to indulge in liberating moments of fun".

She quickly made headlines by promising to do away with the space-age vinyl that has been the label's stock and trade since its foundation in 1961 by French engineer Andre Courreges and his wife Jacqueline.

She launched a numbered capsule collection called Fin De Plastique (The End of Plastic) that counted down its stocks of vinyl, promising to replace it with a sustainable version of the shiny fabric.

But she struggled to create a new personality for the brand - whose look so defined early 1960s rebellion - although her last collection, shown on a canal barge in Paris, was praised by critics.

Courreges said her final collection, for autumn-winter 2020, will be presented at the end of this month.

The daughter of a jewellery creator, Zobel made her name working for Giorgio Armani, Chloe, Jil Sander and the avant garde Acne Studios.

Courreges is owned by Artemis, the holding company of the Pinault family, the French fashion dynasty whose Kering group includes such mythic brands as Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga.

It took total control of the label in September 2018, seven months after Zobel's appointment.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2020, with the headline 'Designer Yolanda Zobel exits fashion label Courreges'. Print Edition | Subscribe