He has all the aesthetic credibility Desigual lacks, except in one area: clothes. And though he is not officially being asked to design (his remit is âvisual communications,â though itâs a loosey-goosey definition), his appointment does raise some questions: Which comes first, the image or the products? And can the two actually be separated?
Itâs an issue not just at the heart of this experiment, but also of the industry more broadly, as distinctions among designer, artistic director and creative director become fuzzy, and the drive for social media buzz seems to be, rightly or wrongly, the single greatest imperative behind many creative decisions.
Consider that such respected names as Alber Elbaz, Peter Copping, Stefano Pilati, Marco Zanini, Bouchra Jarrar and Riccardo Tisci are all out of full-time jobs, and hundreds of new designers flood the market every spring from schools such as Central Saint Martins and Parsons.
And consider the fact that Mr. Goudeâs appointment follows the naming of Rihanna as creative director of Puma (complete with her own line, Fenty Puma); the appointment of Isabella Burley, editor of the British magazine Dazed & Confused, as âeditor in residenceâ of Helmut Lang last March; and that of Justin OâShea, a former buying director of MyTheresa.com, as creative director of Brioni in 2016.
As it turned out, Mr. OâShea lasted less than six months at that job (his decision to use Metallica as a…