Fashion loves a good finale – and a new debut, and the Spring/Summer 2018 shows in Milan – which kicked off on Wednesday with Alessandro Michele’s Gucci – have a couple of the latter. One of the most momentous will come on Saturday, when husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier make their first outing for Jil Sander.
In a debut that has been slated to be one of the most anticipated of the season, the Meiers will undoubtedly draw attention not just from high fashion insiders and fans of the German design house, but likely also from an entirely different group: Supreme afficinados. Canada-born Mr. Meier, after all, was the head designer of the New York-based cult streetwear/skate wear brand for eight years before launching his own label OAMC.
As for Lucie, she was one of the couple of designers that stepped up to the plate when Raf Simons opted to depart from Christian Dior in 2012. Along with Serge Ruffieux – who will make his own debut this season … at Carvenin Paris – Meier quietly took the helm of Dior before Maria Grazia Chiuri’s appointment.
The married co-creative directors replace Rodolfo Paglialunga, who spent three years at the helm of Jil Sander’s eponymous label.
But let us not get ahead of ourselves. On Friday, Paul Surridge will show his first collection for Roberto Cavalli. As Vogue’s Nicole Phelps noted this spring, Surridge’s appointment continues “the recent trend of promoting behind-the-scene talent to a top spot, rather than hiring a star designer.” Mr. Surridge – who replaces Peter Dundas, who has since launched his own label – comes by way of a handful of labels.
Following a stint at Calvin Klein in the 1990s, he joined Christopher Bailey at Burberry, and later worked under Raf Simons at Jil Sander as the head of menswear. From there he served as the creative director of Z Zegna from 2011 to 2014, at which point he moved on to consult for Stockholm-based Acne's menswear collections.
And on Sunday, Marni’s new(ish) creative director Francesco Risso – who joined from Prada last year, replacing founder Consuelo Castiglioni – will show his second major womenswear collection for Marni. If Suzy Menkes’ word is to be taken as fact (it shouldn’t always), Risso’s debut fell short, and as the British critic noted, he “needs time.” She stated in her review of Risso’s F/W 2017 collection, “He deserves a chance to build his own ideas – with feeling and with time.” That time might be now.