As confirmed by Women's Wear Daily, Olivier Theyskens has officially left his post as artistic director at Nina Ricci. According to a joint statement from both the designer and Ricci, Theyskens departed the French fashion house on March 10, well before his contract was set to expire in October. The statement claimed that the house "wishes to re-orientate its development strategy for the years to come. Consequently, Nina Ricci and its artistic director Olivier Theyskens have decided by mutual agreement to cease their collaboration." The partnership of two years has been marked by editorial praise, weak commercial sales and recent indications of conflict between the edgy designer with a gothic edge and the fashion house with a traditionally romantic and ethereal image.
Theyskens is reported to be considering a relaunch of his signature label, as he owns the rights to his trademark. No official announcement was made as to a successor at Nina Ricci, however the split ought to open the door to Peter Copping, who is set to leave his current design position under Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton in order to join Ricci as creative director.
Below, an interview with Olivier Theyskens on the Nina Ricci Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear collection. His answer to the question of whether he will be staying on at the house avoided confirmation of what had become a hot topic of speculation during the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week.