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February 16, 2010 8:15 PM

Eye, Fashion

The Man From LVMH

As I was waiting for the Rodarte show to begin, an e-mail from my editor in the front row popped up on my handheld device, alerting me that top LVMH executive Pierre-Yves Roussel was once again sitting in the front...

As I was waiting for the Rodarte show to begin, an e-mail from my editor in the front row popped up on my handheld device, alerting me that top LVMH executive Pierre-Yves Roussel was once again sitting in the front row of this particular show.

As the chief executive officer of the fashion division at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Roussel plays a key role in spotting talent for the conglomerate's various labels, and it could be said he has the power to hire hot young designers -- Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, for instance -- for one of its labels, and turn them into household names around the world. Just think of how LVMH's backing helped transform Marc Jacobs and his company into a global fashion powerhouse. As I did last season, I rushed out of my chair after the sisters took their bow to get to the core of what exactly he was doing at the show again. When I asked him whether he was inching closer to finding a suitable home for the duo in the LVMH portfolio, Roussel remained coy.

"We still love what they do," he would only say.

Come to think of it, how couldn't he? The Mulleavys once again delivered a beautiful collection, but unlike some of their more Gothic excursions of the past -- the two love their horror flicks -- this collection was feminine and romantic, mixing intricate knits with lace (a colleague of mine suggested their newfound romanticism may be the result of them working on a few wedding dresses for their editor friends). And in a season where many designers have made it a mission to offer wearable looks, theirs, too, was much more commercial than anything they have done in the past -- which should be music to the ears of retailers, and perhaps also to Roussel. I'd love to know which LVMH label you think the Rodarte designers would handle best.
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