After five years as creative director of the French fashion house, Balmain, Christophe Decarnin is stepping down. The announcement confirms speculation that began after the designer's conspicuous absence from fall fashion week, allegedly due to a hospitalization. A successor has not yet been named, but, WWD reports, sources are pointing to an internal candidate as the front-runner.
According to the report, beside any personal issues he may have faced, Decarnin was at odds with senior management of the brand he led to blockbuster success in the last half-decade. During his tenure, he blazed a signature sexy silhouette marked by strong shoulders and micro-minis. The same irreverent glamour that heated up the women's division of the 60-year-old brand—and ignited "Balmania", if you will—Decarnin expanded over to menswear, as well, in 2008. Despite what rumors may be swirling about the cause of the split, Balmain CEO Alain Hivelin had nothing but praise for Decarnin. As he said in a press release:
“Since 1945, the house of Pierre Balmain has been one of the leading French and international luxury brands. Christophe Decarnin’s work with the house’s design team contributed to the success that the brand has enjoyed in recent years.”
As this is the second designer to leave a major French fashion brand since Fashion Week in Paris, the musical chairs effect on the Parisian fashion scene is likely to be even more widespread.