“After three years of mutually gratifying creative collaboration, Nina Ricci and Guillaume Henry have together decided that the designer will depart the house after the presentation of the fall 2018-19 collection,” Nina Ricci said in a statement, referring to the designer’s show on March 2.
Pending the arrival of a new creative director, the label’s next collections will be designed by the in-house studio, it added. Nina Ricci had previously released a statement denying WWD’s report.
For his final collection, Henry melded military-themed tailoring with sensual lingerie-inspired looks. Veiled tricorn hats lent a mournful tone.
“A love letter for everything I do, deeply, with passion, with truth. Even if it’s clothes, I really wanted to emphasize the idea I have of a beautiful woman, that has nothing to do with fashion, really,” the designer said backstage, where handlers barred all questions about his future at the house.
Henry succeeded Peter Copping at the helm of the brand, known for its refined, romantic creations and fragrances such as L’Air du Temps and Nina.
After graduating from the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, the designer completed a postgraduate program in design at the Institut Français de la Mode. Henry worked in the studios of Givenchy and Paule Ka before taking the creative helm of Carven in 2009, helping to relaunch it as a contemporary brand.
His designs for Nina Ricci have proved popular with celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Revenues at Puig rose 9 percent in 2016 to 1.79 billion euros in the context of a relatively flat perfume business worldwide and despite tough times in emerging markets, especially Latin America, where it generated 44 percent of its sales. Net income for the Spanish group advanced 23 percent to 155 million euros.
In addition to Nina Ricci, the group owns fashion and fragrance brands such as Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier, and licensed perfume labels, including Prada, Valentino and Comme des Garçons. It is scheduled to publish its 2017 annual figures in April.
Puig has said it aims to break through the barrier of 2 billion euros in revenues. The group last year appointed José Manuel Albesa to steer all of its fashion houses, in addition to his role as chief brand officer. Fashion made up an estimated 9 percent of Puig’s business in early 2017.
Puig chairman and chief executive officer Marc Puig told WWD last year the company was focusing on organic growth.
“The way we see it, there’s a portfolio with a significant number of brands already, and within those brands there is the potential to keep growing in different [categories], whether it’s fragrance or fashion. Our main effort will be to focalize and prioritize the materialization of the potential for all the brands in the portfolio,” he said.
“Having said this, we are proactive, as we have been over the past few years. And when there are opportunities where we think we can create value if they are under our responsibility, we will pursue them. But we also believe that there’s no rush. We still have a lot of potential with the brands that we have in our portfolio,” he added.