Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the design duo behind buzzy New York-based label, Monse, have been appointed as the new creative directors of Oscar de la Renta. They will show their first collection for the brand - whose most recent creative director, Peter Copping left last month due to "personal circumstances" - in February.
Kim and Garcia will continue to design for Monse (pronounced Mon-Say) and divide their time between the two brands. The duo, who were until recently working on Carolina Herrera's design team, have previously spent time at Oscar de la Renta; Kim was de la Renta's design director for over ten years and Garcia was a design assistant. Their hires were confirmed by Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen on Friday.
According to the New York Times, prior to Oscar de la Renta’s death in 2014, “Mr. Bolen and Mr. de la Renta hired the seasoned British designer Peter Copping, then the artistic director of Nina Ricci, to succeed the legendary designer. Ms. Kim, who had been at Mr. de la Renta’s side since 2003, had hoped for the job but was passed over. She promised Mr. de la Renta to stay until Mr. Copping arrived, but announced her decision to leave afterward.”
“I screwed that one up, in retrospect,” Mr. Bolen said in an interview at the Monse studio this week. “I wish Laura had come in and pounded the table and said, ‘I want the job.’ We discussed it. But I didn’t push it enough, and I should have.”
Mr. Bolen declined to discuss the brief tenure of Mr. Copping or the reasons for his departure, saying only, “Fashion businesses work best when the creative team and the business team speak the same language.” (Mr. Copping declined to comment.)