Not all exes are bad news. Designer Nathan Jenden, DVF’s ex-right-hand man, is back to make the American brand, well, DVF again.
The A-team then, and now von Furstenberg with Nathan Jenden.
The reviews since his return as chief design officer and vice-president haven’t been bad – or good. The Business of Fashion ’s Tim Blanks calls Nathan Jenden’s F/W ’18 collection for Diane von Furstenberg (his ﬁ rst since he left the brand in 2011) “deliberately familiar”, compared with the “electricity” of his predecessor, Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders. Vogue.com’s Nicole Phelps feels the same way about it.
But between what’s familiar and what’s not, DVF prefers the former. Why? Because it sells, and Jenden is the guy to do it – and he did do it during his last tenure by “turning the label from a US$2 million business to a US$200 million one in 10 years”, says DVF.
So what can we expect from familiarity? A lot of what the brand is known for: prints, easy-to-wear styles, and the ’70s (bellbottoms are back, too). All the things older audiences grew up with but younger ones – like von Furstenberg’s granddaughter/muse Talita, and potential target customers now – didn’t.
“I want to give the DVF girl what she wants, when she wants it,” says Jenden. “And with the joie de vivre and sense of purpose that epitomises Diane, DVF the brand, and the spirit of women today.” – BG
Opposite: Velvet jumpsuit, $1,390. This page:
1. Silkblend dress, $730.
2. Chiffon wrap dress, $660.
3. “The Cube” pattern first appeared in 1974 on several DVF wrap dresses. Silkblend top, $620, and matching pants, $730.
4. Chiffon dress, $1,070.