Didier Grumbach may not be a name everyone knows - but everyone should. Back in 1966, Grumback co-founded Saint Laurent rive gauche - which started a ready-to-wear revolution - and then from 1968 to 1973 he worked with Hubert de Givenchy and the Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique label. (I happen to love early Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique pieces - so if anyone out there has early pieces to sell, give me a tingle!)
In 1998 he was elected chairman of the Fédération Francaise de la Couture, du Pret-a-Porter (someday I will figure out where the other accents are on my keyboard - so please forgive my accentless pret-a-porter) des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode - and of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute couture. Golly! I wonder what his letterhead looks like!
"Fashion designers, especially when they launch their brand, are intellectuals. It is not possible anymore for a designer to be just a skilled craftsman. Today, designers are required to have a vision of the world that is specifically their own, so they need to be erudite, brilliant. Today a fashion designer fulfills Poiret's dream of being a guide, who announces everything, and not only fashion."
After 16 years, Didier Grumbach is stepping down from the federation and it has been announced that he will be replaced by Ralph Toledano. Grumbach will remain an honorary president of the foundation. When asked by the New York Times if he has any advice for Toedano, he said, "It is very important not to be weak."
love, kisses and vive la haute couture! Juliana