Paris fashion house Lanvin has named two new general managers, Arnaud Bazin and Grace Zhao, in a significant move to help drive a new stage in the development of the Chinese-owned marque.
“Joann Cheng, Chairman of Lanvin, has named Arnaud Bazin and Grace Zhao as two Deputy General Managers to be in charge of global and the Asia Pacific businesses,” the house said in a release. The Fosun Group acquired control of Lanvin in 2018 and has wrestled with bringing back the storied house to profitability.
Lanvin had been without a CEO since this spring when Jean-Philippe Hecquet stepped down after a year and a half in his position. The nomination of both Bazin and Zhao as general managers would indicate that the major decisions in the company’s future will be taken in China by Fosun.
“I am very glad that Arnaud has joined us, and we will continue to drive the development of the Company as a team. We have seen significant growth in Asia-Pacific since Grace joined and we believe it is the second engine for us to display the growth trajectory globally,” said Cheng.
Based in Paris, Bazin joins Lanvin with over 25 years of experience in luxury fashion. Prior to joining Lanvin, Bazin served as the Senior Vice President Merchandising of Versace. Prior to that, Bazin was the Division Director at Christian Dior and also served as the Head Merchant of Chanel Fashion.
“I am thrilled to join this entrepreneurial adventure. Lanvin is one of the jewels of French fashion patrimony and is now writing a new chapter of its history under the creative vision of Bruno Sialelli. I am grateful to Fosun Group for trusting me with the opportunity to be part of that exciting journey. I deeply believe in Lanvin’s strengths and potential and I am happy to lead its development.”
Zhao, who will be based in Shanghai, actually joined Lanvin back in November 2019. Zhao brings over 20 years of luxury fashion experience in Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining Lanvin, she was the Senior Vice President of Asia-Pacific for Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. Prior to that, she worked at Louis Vuitton, Celine, and Burberry, accumulating considerable experience in marketing, digital, and operations.
“Together, Mr. Bazin and Ms. Zhao will oversee the overall strategy for the brand and its implementation globally,” Lanvin said in its release.
Lanvin suffered a troubled history in the past half-decade following the 2015 dismissal by the previous management of Alber Elbaz, a brilliant designer would have created a highly sophisticated aesthetic and look for the house. Lanvin then went through two designers – Bouchra Jarrar and Olivier Lapidus – in barely two years. Before hiring Bruno Sialelli, who has garnered very positive reviews, even if there was a widely held opinion in Paris that his collections badly needed support from an experienced merchandiser. That weakness now appears to have been fully addressed.