Nina Ricci appoints Hyères 2018 winners Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh joint artistic directors

Nina Ricci has appointed the Hyères 2018 Festival winners Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh to be the joint artistic directors of the house, picking two relative unknowns to helm one of Paris' most storied houses.


Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh -- Photo: Leon Mark

Botter and Herrebrugh’s first collection for Nina Ricci will be pre-fall 2019, generally shown in January of a given year. While their first full collection will be autumn-winter 2019/2020 which will be presented in March 2019 during the Paris runway season.
 
The Dutch-raised duo of Botter and Herrebrugh leapt to fame in April when they won the latest edition of the Première Vision Grand Prize at Hyères, historically Europe’s most coveted award for young designers. Previous winners have included Anthony Vaccarello and Viktor & Rolf.
 
The Dutch-based duo produced a menswear collection that featured images of Caribbean fishermen on an all-black cast of models. A playful aesthetic with a social message that included multi-deconstructed suits; bold, patterns painted directly onto fabrics - a subversion of fashion codes mixed up with wacky humor. 

In short, an aesthetic that is a far cry from the refined and romantic aesthetic of founder Nina Ricci, who launched her house in 1932.
 
“We are extremely honored to take part in this fantastic project. Truly feminine fashion, Nina Ricci for us incarnates the sparkle and savoir-faire of the great fashion houses. It’s this DNA that we intend to utilize to create a new breath of fresh air, that of a woman anchored in her own era, a strong and positive woman,” said Botter and Herrebrugh in a release.
 
While Charlotte Tasset, Nina Ricci’s general manager commented: “I am very happy to welcome Rushemy and Lisi into the heart of the house of Nina Ricci. Fundamentally anchored in their era, their creative universe expresses emotional force, a truly singular honesty and impertinence. Associated with the delicacy and poetry inherent in their vision, this unique aesthetic will give birth to a new Nina Ricci woman.”

Botter (32), was born on the Caribbean island of Curaço, and Herrebrugh (28), was born in Amsterdam, where they both grew up. The latter studied at Amsterdam's AMFI, the former at the Academy of Antwerp, where the pair have lived for nine years. 
 
The French fashion house is controlled by the Barcelona-based Puig family, which also controls four other houses – Jean Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Carolina Herrera and Dries Van Noten, the last of which they acquired this summer.
 
Though a famous name, whose designers have often won critical plaudits, Nina Ricci has rifled through six designers this century, before today’s appointment. These include such admired creators as Lars Nilsson, Olivier Theyskens, Peter Copping and Guillaume Henry.
 
The Puig group is primarily known as a perfume business, and is not noted for investing heavily in any of its fashion houses. Indeed, it halted Gaultier’s ready-to-wear business barely a year after acquiring control of his house, albeit keeping his couture atelier and show. Hence, given the Dutch duo’s lack of experience, there will be speculation that Nina Ricci chose a relatively inexpensive option rather than a name designer.
 
That said, the Puigs will be applauded for entrusting such a storied fashion marque into the hands of two relative neophytes. That at least took plenty of chutzpah.

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