IS OLIVIER OUT?: Olivier Theyskens is still the designer at Nina Ricci, at least for now. In response to a report that the designer’s spring ’09 show may have been his last, Mario Grauso, president of Ricci parent company Puig Fashion, said Theyskens will remain at the creative helm of the house at least through the expiration of his current contract in October. “At this point, we’re very happy with his contribution,” said Grauso. “I look forward to seeing his next show, after which we’ll start the negotiations, which is typical.”
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Senior staffers at Bill Blass were said to be negotiating severance packages Thursday with management. NexCen Brands Inc., which owns Bill Blass Couture and its ready-to-wear business, is still trying to make a last-ditch effort to sell the company. As reported, industry observers expect the Bill Blass Couture operation to be shuttered by the end of the year.
The company still has some top-notch talent on board, including men’s wear designer Michael Bastian and Prabal Gurung on the women’s side. A few employees have already found greener pastures, including public relations manager Hana Kim. Next month she will join Erin Fetherston as public relations/marketing manager.
NexCen executives had nothing new to report Thursday, according to a company spokeswoman. But Bill Blass staffers are preparing for pink slips, which some say could start today.
CLEANING HOUSE: This season may be the season to end all seasons for sample sales, holiday shopping nights and rock-bottom discounts, but Steven Alan hasn’t lost sight of a little charity. The designer has donated 1,000 pieces of women’s and men’s clothes to Housing Works Thrift Stores. The assortment, which includes his own label as well as others that are available in his store, will be sold Dec. 27. But Alan insisted his generosity is not due to the rocky retail climate. “Basically, every time we have a sample sale, there are things left over — some we donate and some stay in our inventory. This year we decided to clean house from several past sample sales,” he said.