Less than two years after joining Oscar de la Renta, Peter Copping has stepped down as creative director, with the intention of returning to Europe. No replacement has been named, however Business of Fashion has rumoured that Monse designers, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, could return.
Copping joined Oscar de la Renta in October 2014, hoping to work alongside de la Renta himself, although days after Copping was hired, the prestigious designer died of cancer. In a graceful transition, Copping was able to continue the aesthetic of the brand, retaining the couture for which it was renowned.
Peter Copping has recently confirmed his departure in a statement:
“After almost two years at Oscar de la Renta, personal circumstances require me to return to Europe. I have loved my time in New York where I hope to return at some point in the future.”
Oscar de la Renta’s chief executive officer: “Our team will continue to work on next season’s collection with a keen focus on the level of sophistication and craftsmanship that are the hallmarks of the house. We wish Peter well in his future endeavours.”
Copping’s first collection for ODLR was well received, as well as spending an amount of time on the trunk show circuit, getting to know the long-time clients of the house’s business. However, as seasons passed, Copping did not gain the sort of creative momentum that was perhaps expected of him. Copping explained that his departure from the luxury label was for personal reasons, however reflects the latest development in a series of turnovers at major fashion houses. The industry has seen a turbulent display of coming and going, with the inclusion of Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Balenciaga, Burberry and Calvin Klein, among many others.
These moves are becoming far more common within the high-end fashion industry, where the shorter contracts have allowed designers to move more freely between roles. The contract periods have shortened, as designers and executives alike, have begun to question the practicality, and sustainability, of the current fashion system.
This past February, several collections later, Copping spoke of a delicate balance between keeping Oscar de la Renta’s legacy alive, whilst also bringing fresh ideas and a new aesthetic to the label. “I’m very respectful of the legacy of the house but you have to challenge it as well, it can’t just stand still,” Copping told The Associated Press, backstage at Fashion Week. “You need to move forward. But it’s very important to do it gradually, step by step.”
Perhaps the movement became too gradual, or his expectations of the role were not met, but the question remains, as to who will take the reins, with the news of his departure. Fashion Industry Broadcast will keep you posted as the story develops.