A source close to the situation tells us Jacobs “declined” the job for good sometime in “mid November.” LVMH reportedly approached Jacobs about taking the reigns at Dior in July after Bill Gaytten showed his critically-slammed couture collection for the house. Jacobs seemed a shoe-in for the job. But negotiations between LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, Dior president Sidney Toledano and Jacobs fell apart over money and the reorganization of Jacobs’ team. According to a source, Jacobs wanted to bring his team from Vuitton to Dior and “transfer the aesthetic from one house to another” (which might explain the dramatic shift towards a more girly aesthetic in Jacobs’ spring collection for Vuitton). As WWD reported earlier this month, that would leave Vuitton, LVMH’s cash cow, in the lurch, with the conglomerate’s other design star, Phoebe Philo, unwilling to leave Céline to replace Jacobs at Vuitton.
Ever since John Galliano was fired as the creative director of Dior last February for making racist slurs–a story that dominated the headlines of major newspapers, tabloids, and fashion rags alike for weeks–the question on everyone’s red-glossed lips has been: Who would replace him? Speculation commenced as soon as Dior issued the press release about Galliano’s firing. According to our source Albert Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaia, Ricardo Tisci, and Marc Jacobs have all been named as possible contenders for the job, and lately the name being bandied around is Tom Ford.
But so far, there are no takers. (Maybe new names in the ring, Alex Wang and Jason Wu, actually have a shot). It’s a massive undertaking to revamp the house–one that is still turning a profit under Galliano’s vision. “Designers probably have declined the job since LVMH has not shown any gratitude towards John Galliano,” the source tell us. “In fact, he has managed to revamp the House and give the image it still has today despite the scandal. People today see Dior through Galliano’s outrageous, romantic, glamorous and innovative vision. To see how he has been forgotten by the leaders of the House in a such ungrateful way would not attract anyone with self esteem.”
So it looks like Bill Gaytten may stay at the helm of Dior for a while longer and it will be well over a year before LVMH names Galliano’s successor. Of course, the fashion industry loves to buzz…