Dear Bertrand Guyon,
Firstly, welcome. Welcome to the world that is Elsa Schiaparelli. Welcome to a world where your onlylimitation is your imagination and a world that strives to share as you put it yourself a ‘quirky and poetic’ story.
One can only hope your reputation proceeds you. With designers such as Givenchy, Christian Lacroix and more recently Valentino listed on your reputable CV, you are bound to turn heads with these kinds of influences.
I am hoping, praying and wishing that with your new appointment comes a new direction for what was once and still could be one of the most artistically influential labels to date. It’s undeniable you have some pretty big shoes to fill. I’m not talking about those of your predecessor but those of the legacy Elsa has left behind.
Elsa Schiaparelli emerged in the late 1920s, representing a younger generation who believed that art was a way to “channel the unconscious as a means to unlock the power of the imagination.” During this period, creators of emerging surrealist art believed revelations could be found amongst everyday life. Schiaparelli was able to take these new ideas and influences and reflect them in fashion, something no one had ever done before. She challenged what was conventional and shocked with her eccentric designs, yet she continued to be classic and on trend. Elsa’s ideas embraced change and they embraced difference.
In 2013, when Marco Zanini, who was the appointed the first creative director of the brand since Elsa herself in 1954, admitted to the challenge of bringing Elsa’s legacy to the present and to the future. He may have subconsciously felt he needed to compete with this rather than use as inspiration, which may have led to his decision to cut ties with the brand in late 2014.
I see so much potential in the story you aim to write and so much opportunity for you to engrave your legacy into this tenacious industry. The society we live in is so much more accepting of change and difference that you will need to go above and beyond the Schiaparelli standard. You can’t just make jaws drop, you need to move people.
So on that note, Mr Guyon, I would like to congratulate you for accepting the opportunity to make change and difference in our world, but I also wish you luck on this journey. We can’t wait to see where you will take this ‘endless creative’ legacy.
Kindly waiting in anticipation,
Those who are wanting to be moved.