Lanvin: Tensions Between Management and Employees Rise

Lanvin Resort - H 2015
AP Images

Lanvin Resort - H 2015

Concerns following the abrupt departure of creative Alber Elbaz have gone unanswered, causing friction within the French fashion house.

Though they've always behaved cordially, many fashion industry experts, like WWD's Bridget Foley, have speculated that relations between former Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz and the label's CEO, Michele Huiban as well as owner Shaw-Lan Wang, were not on the most pleasant of terms. So, when Elbaz' abrupt departure was announced at the end of last month, rumors swirled that the dismissal was the culmination of years of disagreements behind closed doors. 

But it appears that the Israeli designer was not the only one to have qualms with Huiban and Wang. In the week after Lanvin confirmed the news, reports of unrest from the employees that Elbaz left behind surfaced, claiming that demands for answers to questions regarding the future of the fashion house were going unanswered. Among the issues they wish to discuss are the forecasts which suggest that Lanvin will post a loss this year and, rather ironically, the high employee turnover rate.

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Now, WWD claims that the lack of answers has caused tensions between management and staff to rise even higher. According to the trade, the label's human resources department declined to hold a meeting to field these concerns, and Charles Henrey Paradis, a representative of the employees on the board, claims that the company is intentionally stalling and refusing to answer their demands for Wang to return to the label's headquarters in Paris from Taiwan to be present for the meeting. 

“We have reached a point of no return in terms of labor relations,” Paradis told WWD, "General management is trying to play for time by using delaying tactics to try to choke us financially." Meanwhile, a Lanvin spokesperson claims that the hype is "much ado about nothing," and will pass soon enough as employees recover from the "emotional time."