This morning, I heard the news that Jonathan Saunders has resigned as chief creative officer of DVF (Diane von Furstenberg). He joined the brand in May 2016, after shuttering his own critically acclaimed but financially ailing London-based label after 12 years, and was responsible for the overall creative direction which means he was in charge from the corporate identity to product to store design to marketing.
Celebrating the collaboration in 2016: Saunders and von Furstenberg – the affection didn’t last for long…
Over the course of his design career, Saunders has become known for innovation, craftsmanship and his creative use of print, pattern and color. His inspired understanding of fashion has also resulted in collaborations with dancers, artists and interiors companies alike. Past honors include the 2012 British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund Award , and the 2012 British Fashion Award in Emerging Talent – Menswear. Born in Scotland, Saunders graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999 with a BA in Printed Textiles, going on to graduate from Central Saint Martins in 2002 with an MA with distinction in Printed Textiles.
Diane von Furstenberg in 1976
Diane von Furstenberg first came into prominence in the 1970s, when she created her first and now-iconic jersey wrap dress, which came to symbolize power and independence for a generation of women and helped establish Diane as a legendary and crucial fixture in the industry. By 1976, more than five million dresses had been sold and Diane, at only 29 years old, was featured on the cover of Newsweek. After years of ups and downs, the collection was relaunched in 1997. Her first creative director, Yvan Mispelaere, left the company in 2012 after two years, as did Michael Herz, who was her artistic director from 2014 to 2016. According to reports, Diane is still involved herself very much in her eponymous company, which seemed to have caused some degree of friction with Saunders. Moreover, rumors are that she is planning to sell a stake in her company and has hired investment banking firm Michel Dyens & Co. to explore options.
Diane von Furstenberg Pre-fall 2018
Till today, DVF has struggled to re-establish its place in the market. Saunders’ last collection for DVF was Pre-fall 2018, presented earlier this month. To be continued…
Photos: Courtesy of DVF