Jeanne Lanvin was just 22 years old when she opened a Paris hat shop at 16 rue Boissy d’Anglas in 1889. From her early millinery to the children’s wear Lanvin debuted in 1908, from her decision to launch a women’s line a year later to the 1927 release of iconic perfume Arpège, the house is far from lacking in archives and inspiration.
The China-based consortium Lanvin Group, which also controls Wolford, St. John and Sergio Rossi, has owned the brand since 2018, and in 2019 Bruno Sialelli joined Lanvin as its creative director after a two-year stint as the menswear designer at Loewe. The 35-year-old Sialelli — whose brought increasing buzz to the label and is winning fans in Hollywood — grew up in Marseille in the South of France, and though he’s the youngest creative director to ever helm the house, he’s unquestionably respectful of its heritage.
“Jeanne Lanvin was ahead of her time and created what was essentially the first lifestyle brand, with children’s clothes, fragrance, sportswear, furs, furniture and made-to-measure looks for men,” Sialelli says. “I want to bring back Madame Lanvin’s enterprising, forward-looking vision.”
That idea extends to celebrity dressing. Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth were among the actresses who were personally fitted by Jeanne Lanvin, and lately Sialelli has been harnessing star power himself. To May’s Met Gala, Claire Danes wore the ruffled yellow gown from the finale of his Fall/Winter 2022 collection, while Jesse James Keitel wore a blush pink lace dress from the same show to the Queer as Folk premiere in June.
“Bruno has been killing it with everything he’s been doing,” says star stylist Jason Bolden, who has dressed Cynthia Erivo and DeWanda Wise in Lanvin.
An art deco print taken from the archives and used throughout the collection in ready to wear and accessories, meanwhile, has become one of the season’s runaway successes. It’s all part of “using a past-to-present silhouette,” Sialelli says. “I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of designer who invents new fabrics or silhouettes. Rather, I look to combine elements and layers that have never been seen together. I’m intent on reimagining forgotten elements of Jeanne Lanvin’s archive.”
This story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.