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Faconnable Names Neale as Artistic Director

Godfrey Deeny
December 14th, 2011 @ 10:36 AM - Paris

Classically posh French fashion label Faconnable has named innovative designer Julian Neale to be its new artistic director.

“Façonnable is pleased to announce the arrival of Julian Neale... In his new position, he will oversee the development of all menswear and womenswear collections,” the house announced in a press release Tuesday, Dec. 13 evening.

The news amounts to a rather brilliant comeback for Neale who left his position as designer of Germany's Rena Lange this summer, despite smartly repositioning that dusty German label.

“Fashion is ever-changing but style lasts,” says the Anglo Turkish Neale. “With Façonnable there is a storied heritage of quality and a chic French attitude. I am here to build on that foundation by injecting a contemporary edge that will only serve to highlight and modernize Façonnable's singular aesthetic - not compete with it.”

Born in Turkey, raised in Hong Kong and a graduate of Kingston University in London, Neale, upon graduation worked closely with Michael Kors in his studio when the American designer was directing Celine a decade ago. Subsequently, at Rena Lange he was acclaimed for his courageous avant garde take on the highly traditional German label. His fall 2011 collection for Germany's most ladylike brand, for instance, was inspired by the image of Lou Reed walking fellow punk rocker Nico home in a rainy East Village.

Professionals will get their first chance to view Neale’s opening ideas for Faconnable when he presents a Pre-Fall 2012 collection for women and a Fall 2012 collection for men in January at Pitti, the giant fashion industry salon in Florence, Italy.

Prior to Neale's appointment, Faconnable had been designed by an in-house team, following the departure of former creative director Eric Wright, who resigned in January 2010.

Neale, who will now relocate to Façonnable’s headquarters in Nice, South of France, to oversee the design team, also cleverly launched a menswear license with Isetan of Japan for the French brand Victoire, as well as building his own lifestyle collection, Permanent Vacation.

“Julian brings not only a fresh point of view, but invaluable design studio experience” says Maher Mikati, CEO of M1 Fashion, the Lebanese group that controls .

“He’s an innovative designer who is also a pragmatist and that means he implicitly understands how to balance trend-driven design with timeless elegance. He will help a new generation discover the brand by guiding Façonnable into the next decade without ever losing sight of its invaluable heritage,” added Mikati.

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