Monday, March 30, 2009

The Return of Bill Blass Starring Richard Chai?

On the heels of reports last week that Peacock International Holdings was looking for a new creative director to head the Bill Blass label, it looks like they may have found their man in Richard Chai.

Fashion Week Daily reports that industry sources have said that Mr. Chai has conducted several interviews with Peacock concerning the position of creative director of the label. Of course, both Chai's camp and Peacock have remained mum on the rumor. Says a Chai spokesperson, "I'm afraid we can't comment at the moment". "We can't comment on who we're interviewing for the position," said Scott Patti, executive v.p. of licensing and sales for Peacock. Bill Blass will return on the runway regardless of who is chosen as head designer.

On the surface, Mr. Chai appears to be a good fit for the label. His trademark American sportswear is aesthetically similar to the Bill Blass brand. His resume includes launching the Marc by Marc Jacobs, a stint at TSE, winner of the Ecco Domani award in 2005, a finalist in the the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and a collection for Target's Go! International last fall. Mr. Chai also brings with him a loyal fan base which includes Vogue editor, Anna Wintour and Julie Gilhart, fashion director for Barneys New York.

But will this be enough for Mr. Chai to be able to function at Bill Blass? As we all know, when companies purchase fashion labels, conflict arises between management and the designer with struggles over creative control. So, will Peacock let Richard Chai be Richard Chai, or will they
force him to be beholden to the bottom line?

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