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Vanessa Seward Out At Azzaro

Godfrey Deeny
March 18th, 2011 @ 11:47 AM - Paris

Vanessa Seward, an elegantly poised designer who regenerated the brand name and reputation of Azzaro, has just left the company.

“The House of Azzaro and Vanessa Seward are moving forward in different directions,” Azzaro announced in a cryptic press release Friday afternoon, March 18, bringing down the curtain on her nine-year career with the Paris-based house.

Seward entered Azzaro back in 2002 when designer and founder, Loris Azzaro, appointed her as his first assistant. One year later, following Azzaro's death in 2003, Seward was named Creative Director of the brand.

Azzaro thanked Seward for re-launching “the brand's glamorous evening wear,” and for leaving “the company in a favorable economic situation to work on various projects.”

A successor to Seward will be named “shortly,” added the house, which is controlled by Reig, an investment company based in the tiny Pyrenean country of Andorran.

A graduate of Paris fashion school Studio Bercot, Seward served stints as an assistant to Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel before joining the creative team of Yves Saint Laurent then under the direction of Tom Ford.

During her time as creative director, Seward won critical kudos for her snazzy evening wear, that very much respected the DNA of the Azzaro brand, with daring use of modernist materials like hefty metal rings, slinky silhouette and a racy, revealing style.

Preferring to stage small intimate presentations in Azzaro’s headquarters at 65 rue du Faubourg St Honore, one of Paris’s most chic shopping streets, Sweard went on to win such notable clients as actresses Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz and Valerie Lemercier, along with socialites Eugenie Niarchos and Jemima Khan.

Though relatively reserved, Seward nonetheless became the face back in 2008 of Azzaro Couture perfume, a profitable license controlled by the French perfume company Groupe Clarins, which owned the brand up until 2002.

Though Azzaro was a small and modestly financed house, under Seward it gained a significant international reputation, well beyond its economic means. She leaves Azzaro with a sterling reputation.

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