The end of the year is the height of the gossip season. On Friday, it was finally, formally announced that Matthew M. Williams, the doomed designer of Givenchy, would be exiting the LVMH-owned couture house by December 31, closing out his three-year contract. Condolences to those who really enjoyed Matthew’s work. I, too, started to feel bad for him by the end. Luckily for everyone, Williams just got backing for his own line from an enthusiastic investor, so there will be more seatbelt belts in our future.
Williams’ long-rumored, painfully attenuated departure sets in motion a number of other interesting dominoes. The talk just a week ago in Paris had Kim Jones, of Dior “Men” and Fendi womenswear fame, headed to Givenchy, where he would be looking for help creating a new brand identity. That tracks, especially if Alessandro Michele is about to be announced at Fendi, the Roman furrier-turned-fashion house, which is feeling increasingly likely. If Michele is indeed working at Fendi, he’d have to be taking over the whole thing: The reason to hire him is to overhaul the brand, not to patch things up.