Paris (AFP) – Designer Haider Ackermann parted ways with Berluti Friday, the French brand said, in the latest twist in the frenetic game of musical chairs at the top of men’s fashion.
The Colombian had led the label for only 18 months, and his surprise departure sparked speculation he will be replaced by Kris Van Assche, the Belgian designer who left Dior Homme last week after 11 years at the helm.
Ackermann, 46, who is best known for his richly-coloured bohemian designs for women, created only three collections for Berluti, but was already giving it a softer, more feminine feel.
Van Assche is known for a harder tailored edge and more street-influenced styling.
Berluti boss Antoine Arnault praised Ackermann’s “feel for materials, colours, and his wonderful shows will always be linked to the history of the house.”
Arnault, the son of French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, has overseen Berluti’s transformation from an elite cobbler which once counted artist Andy Warhol and European royalty among its loyal clients, to a luxury lifestyle label for men.
He said Ackermann’s successor would be announced shortly.
The men’s arm of the LVMH group to which Berluti belongs has seen dramatic change in recent weeks with Hedi Slimane arriving as artistic director of Celine and British designer Kim Jones leaving Louis Vuitton for Dior Homme and being replaced by DJ, designer and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh.
Ackermann, who has his own highly-rated women’s label, said he was “immensely proud to have been able to put my creativity at the service of this house.”
A product of the famous Antwerp fashion school in Belgium alongside Dries Van Noten and Anne Demeulemeester, he replaced Alexandro Sartori in September 2016.