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Why Are Designers Becoming So Expendable?

Riccardo Tisci, Alessandro Michele, Jeremy Scott, Bruno Sialelli, Tom Ford, Charles de Vilmorin, Rhuigi Villaseñor, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Garbiella Hearst. Photo-Illustration: Puck; Photos via Getty Images.
Lauren Sherman
June 8, 2023

Earlier this week, in the wake of the yet-to-be officially confirmed Gabriela Hearst-exiting-Chloé news, Twitter regular Linda @Itgirlenergy posted a list of star (and superstar) designers who had left their positions in the last two years: among them, Riccardo Tisci (Burberry), Alessandro Michele (Gucci), Jeremy Scott (Moschino), and Bruno Sialelli (Lanvin). Other members of this constellation would also include Tom Ford high-tailing it from his namesake house, Charles de Vilmorin saying goodbye to Rochas, and Ludovic de Saint Sernin leaving Ann Demeulemeester after one season. Linda didn’t even get to Rhuigi Villaseñor’s Bally departure or GmbH duo’s Trussardi exit, mentioned by LiveJournal O.G.-turned-TikTok star Bryan Yambao, better known as Bryanboy. As New York Times fashion reporter Elizabeth Paton noted recently, “Does feel like a lot more designer churn than usual right now…” 

To be clear, not all of these designers were fired. Even after selling to Estée Lauder Companies, Ford could almost certainly have stayed put as long as Karl Lagerfeld stuck around at Chanel… so, forever. However, most were fired, with some contracts even cut short. WWD later reported that Hearst would show her last collection in September, which explains why her departure hasn’t been officially announced yet.