Luxury conglomerate LVMH is set to revive the historic house of Jean Patou under creative director Guillaume Henry, who has made a career of breathing new life into slumbering Parisian brands.
The house of Jean Patou, which was established by the designer of the same name in the 1910s, has been dormant since 1987, although it continued to make and market its own perfume, most notably Joy, and that of other brands.
Following the designer’s untimely death in 1936 at the age of just 55, Patou’s house was continued by his sister Madeleine and her husband Raymond Barbas.
A strong of high profile designers took over at the head of the house including Marc Bohan, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix. The last collection was produced in 1987 when Lacroix left to establish his own label.
Now Henry, who revived both Carven and Nina Ricci, will take over and present his first collection as early as the first half of next year. Henry was creative director at Carven from 2009 to 2014 and was widely praised for taking the brand out of its haute couture niche and into more youthful, relevant ready to wear market. He joined Nina Ricci in 2015 where again he was credited with finding a new generation of customer (although his collections were not always a critical success) and he left earlier this year.
Patou himself, along with contemporary Coco Chanel, was famed for elongating the female silhouette with his longer hemlines in the 1930s, shifting the aesthetic away from the 1920s flapper look. He is credited with popularising knitwear and in particular the long-line cardigan and the “tennis skirt”.
The brand has launched an Instagram page to mark the appointment of Henry and so far it contains just three posts; an image of Patou from the 1930s, a quote from Patou (“I am French and I detest extravagances”), and a picture of Henry. The posts simply declare that the house is back and more is to come.