Olivier Theyskens, Revisited

Following our post a few days ago (that launched countless uncredited reposts) about the unpredictable trajectory of Olivier Theykens, we’ve learned a few more shocking rumors.

Remember years ago when Theyskens, at only 25, was interviewing at Givenchy and asked for a salary twice that of McQueen’s when he started? (They refused.) Well, he’s either a very skilled negotiator or compulsive self-saboteur. We hear that in the last several years he’s turned down the job at both Valentino—despite a fortune offered by the Marzotto Group—and Dior. And get this, apparently he turned down Dior not once, but twice. Why? Because, according to conventional wisdom, there is no life after Dior. Many see it as an ailing house and view John Galliano as a protege of Helene Arnault, wife of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. As for Valentino, Theyskens likely refused because what he really wants is the Lanvin gig in 2012 (as we previously theorized) and because the job is in Rome, not Paris. Finally, we’ve even heard that, just last year, Theyskens declined the job at Oscar de la Renta, where rumors abound that the 78-year-old designer may soon retire.

We think the Belgian’s penchant for romantic demi-couture would work brilliantly at any of those labels. But until he settles on one, we’ll continue to bring you the twists and turns in the never-ending saga of his unusual career.

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