My first semester at “fashion school” I committed a huge sin: I referred to the design house of Proenza Schouler as a “she.” (As in, “OMG, did you see the Spring 2012 Proenza Schouler line? SHE is SUCH a genius.”)
And shame on me, too. I should have known better. Not only for the fact that, hello, I enrolled in school specifically to study fashion, but also because others run into the same difficulty with my favorite designer and design house — Alber Elbaz designing for Lanvin — and I get beyond indignant any time Elbaz were referred to as a “she,” as though Jeanne Lanvin were still alive and in charge. (BTWs, Lanvin, a.k.a. @LANVINofficial, is following me, a.k.a @xococozoe, on Twitter. That means it’s only appropriate for you to follow me too!!!)
But, in reality, it’s NOT that difficult to get designers and design houses confused: many designers collaborate, and unite under one house name, as in the case of Proenza Schouler, or other designers take up office the name-holding designer has vacated, either because they have long-since died (i.e. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel), or because they were caught spewing anti-semitic obsceneties and subsequently suspended from their eponymous lines (i.e. John Galliano. Seriously, though, the most brilliant geniuses are also the most MAD).
And with today’s business politics inspiring corporations (LVMH and Gucci Group, we’re looking at you) to play a never-ending game of musical chairs, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with who’s who and where — unless you’re Alexander Wang, then in February 2013 the entire U.S. FINALLY knew the name of designer behind Balenciaga. (P.S. I love you, A. Wang, but Balenciaga will always be synonymous with Nicolas Ghesquiere to me).
But here, to save as many poor souls as possible from future faux pas, are five hot designers and the even-hotter non-eponymous houses they design for.