Maison Ullens splits with Kim Laursen, plans new US store
Maison Ullens has changed its creative strategy. The high-end women's ready-to-wear label launched in 2010 by Belgian baroness Myriam Ullens has in fact decided it will rely on its internal design team from now on. In a press release issued this summer, the label announced the end of its three-year collaboration with Kim Laursen, "due to the evolution in the brand's strategy."
The Danish designer collaborated with Maison Ullens' design studio as a freelance creative director. He joined Ullens in January 2015, taking over from Belgian designer Véronique Leroy, his first collection being the Autumn/Winter 2015-16. Laursen's last collection for Maison Ullens, for the Spring/Summer 2018, will be presented in Paris next October.
The label has decided to "hand over the development of future collections to its own design studio," stated the press release. The team consists of four designers, with Chrystel Fischer as studio director. The Belgian designer is a knitwear specialist and a graduate of Brussels' La Cambre school of art and design, with an additional stint at IFM, and joined the fashion label in 2011 after working notably for Loewe and Karl Lagerfeld.
Renowned for its use of leather and its luxurious knitwear, Maison Ullens also has a reputation for social engagement. Part of its profits go to the Mimi Ullens Foundation, established by billionaire Myriam Ullens to support cancer patients.
The label is led since 2016 by General Manager Guillaume Lehideux, and is available at 70 multi-brand retailers worldwide and at its four monobrand stores. The first of them was opened in 2013 in Aspen, a top Colorado ski resort, and the others are located in Paris: one at 4 rue de Marignan, another (a shop-in-shop) at the Bon Marché department store while the third is a pop-store inside the Ritz Hotel.
Maison Ullens is negotiating for another store in the USA, ideally in New York, which is expected to open in 2018.
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