By SAVONA SAFAOUI, Guest Writer
Lanvin recently appointed fashion designer Bouchra Jarrar as artistic director of womenswear. Jarrar, of Moroccan descent, worked for storied French houses including Gaultier, Balenciaga and Christian Lacroix before launching her own very successful label in 2010.
Jarrar’s recent title is certainly a victory for women, as fashion, especially in high positions, is still an overwhelmingly male-dominated field (Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Miuccia Prada, and Phoebe Philo of Cèline are a few other torch-bearing women that come to mind). Because opportunities in creative industries are scarce, representation matters. Precedents mean everything. More women in high-fashion positions means more women will be mentored and hired.
Lanvin, an absolute powerhouse of style and artistry, and one of the few couture houses built by a woman, was founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889. Jeanne’s work at large continues to serve as an education of female power. Perhaps it is even from her linear, silhouetted style — synonymous with grace and refinement, yet distinctly laid back — that Chanel learned everything she knew about tailoring. And Jarrar is a seamless continuation of Lanvin’s label. When Jarrar’s appointment was announced, Lanvin CEO Michèle Huiban said, “Her timeless style is in agreement with the style and values of our house. Her talent, her rigor, her mastery of the body and materials will bring to the house of Lanvin a freshness and modernity while respecting its historic couture soul, a symbol of French elegance.”
In other words, she leads. And the photographs, her vision, speak for themselves. Let’s see where she’ll take it.