Luxury label Vionnet halts operations to re-brand as sustainable

France
Published:  18 October, 2018

The French luxury fashion house has placed itself into voluntary liquidation. It is temporarily closing down its operations before making a come-back as an eco-friendly label.

Owner Goga Ashkenazi, a Kazakh designer who bought the iconic French label in 2012, said in a statement released on October 16 the liquidation will allow the brand to reorganise itself and attract new investors. “With the experience and acquired wisdom in the turbulent environment of today’s transformed fashion industry, Vionnet has decided to redefine its activities in the light of Madeleine Vionnet’s timeless heritage and entrepreneurial vision and courage and engage in innovative ways pursuant to sustainable development strategies. We see it as the only way forward for us and humanity as a whole”, said Ashkenazi.

In May, the label made a first step into the sustainable fashion segment with a collection called "Sustainable Surf", developed in collaboration with British contemporary visual artist Marc Quinn. It included a series of ready-to-wear pieces made from natural and eco-responsible materials, and 50% of the profit made were donated to Parley For The Oceans, which seeks to address major threats towards the planet’s oceans. "That was just the first step, but I actually realised we should have completely restructured the company to be absolutely credible in our revolution," Ashkenazi told U.S. fashion media WWD. "Being trendsetters, being people influencing other people’s decisions, I think we have the responsibility to commit to the sustainable cause and try to have an impact on this world."

Founded in 1912 by French national Madeleine Vionnet, the label was liquidated in 1940. In 1988, the Lummen family acquired the rights to use the name to revive its perfume business of the brand before launching a ready-to-wear collection in 2006. In 2009, Vionnet was acquired by Matteo Marzotto, President of Italian fashion label Marni and heir to the textile group Marzotto and Gianni Castiglioni. In 2012, it was transferred to Goga Ashkenazi.

Up to now, Vionnet’s collections included leather jackets, footwear, handbags and accessories.

Sources: WWD/Harpers Bazaar