Mugler Replaces Artistic Director David Koma With Acne Studios Alum

Casey Cadwallader for Mugerl - Publicity - P 2017
Arnaud Lajeunie

American designer Casey Cadwallader began his new position on Dec. 1.

After four years at the helm of Mugler, David Koma is stepping down to focus on his namesake label. Taking his place is 38-year-old American designer Casey Cadwallader, who started his new position on Dec. 1. 

Like Mugler's founder, Thierry Mugler, Cadwallader studied architecture before delving into fashion. During his time as a student at Cornell, he took an internship with Marc Jacobs and eventually landed stints at Loewe, Narciso Rodriguez and most recently, Acne Studios, where he had served as design director for the brand's pre-collections since 2015. 

Said Sandrine Groslier, president of Clarins Fragrance Group, Mugler Fashion and Frgrance, “[Cadwallader's] determination and unique sensitivity to Mugler’s artistic and experimental heritage will enable us to pursue the renewal of the house in the long term. We are confident that his personal vision and talent will position Mugler among the most sought-after avant-garde fashion brands of today.”

The designer's aesthetic certainly seems to be more "avant-garde" than that of Koma, whose hyper-feminine silhouettes (bold shoulders, tapered waists) channeled the work of founder Mugler. A glimpse at Cadwallader's Instagram page shows off his bold, structural work for Acne Studios as well as a love of colorful fine art.