Jonathan Saunders has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg. The Scottish designer only held the position since mid-2016 but quickly left his stamp on the brand, from mixing up the fabrications and silhouettes of the clothes to even updating the very label inside of them. Saunders was responsible for all product categories, as well as store design, Web design, and marketing.
Saunders said in a release, “I am grateful for Diane’s support and for the opportunity of guiding this iconic brand. I am so proud of everything we have accomplished in the past 18 months. I thank the incredible team for their dedication and support, and will continue to be a friend and admirer of the brand.”
Saunders became the very first chief creative officer of the company, an award given to him because of his more than 12 years as being the head of his own label in the U.K. By the time Saunders got to the brand, DVF had was already one of America’s most established contemporary brands.
Hours after Saunders’ left, von Furstenberg told WWD, “This is a changing world and a disruptive world where you really have to be modern. As a family, we decided that we are willing to face that and follow that…. First of all, Jonathan was here for 18 months and he was completely and totally free. He had a completely clear palette. And I am very happy that I made that decision because he has had an impact on many things and whatever he did, some of that heritage will last. I really want that. Now it is a matter of using his heritage and the heritage of the brand.”
While the brand did enjoy growth in relevance there was some instability behind the scenes. Six months into Saunders’ tenure, the company’s CEO, Paola Riva, left. And earlier this month, von Furstenberg announced that she planned to hire an investment banking firm to help the brand sell an equity stake.
“I am so thankful for Jonathan’s beautiful work and the effort and dedication he has put into DVF in the last 18 months,” Von Furstenberg said in a statement. “He will leave an important and lasting heritage to the brand.”