The young couture designer succeeds Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who exited the Interparfums-owned label at the end of 2019.
A pandemic-era breakout star, De Vilmorin launched his wild, painterly and highly Instagram-able collection in April 2020, less than a year after graduating from French fashion school La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. American Vogue asked if the designer might be “Gen Z’s first fashion star,” while veteran French designers Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Christian Lacroix publicly praised his work. He is also a next-generation member of French society. (His great aunt, the novelist Louise de Vilmorin, was a friend of the Rochas family.)
“Rochas is a brand that holds a special place in my heart, due to both deep personal family ties and the label’s heritage which I find so rich and inspiring,” De Vilmorin said in a statement. “I can’t wait to bring my personal touch and reinterpret the codes of this beautiful maison.”
Like many fashion houses founded in the early 20th century, Rochas is now primarily a fragrance business that has used its generally well-received fashion collections as a marketing tool for selling perfume.
Designer Marcel Rochas, who started the line in 1925, is best known for adding pockets to women’s coats and skirts. By 2002, the company was owned by consumer packaged goods conglomerate Procter and Gamble, which relaunched apparel under early-aughts wunderkind Olivier Theyskens. By 2006, P&G dissolved the fashion division, although it was relaunched in 2008 with another well-liked designer, Marco Zanini, leading the effort. In 2015, P&G finally sold the brand to fragrance Interparfums, which manufactures Rochas apparel through a partnership with HIM Co, previously known as Onward Luxury Group.
In addition to his duties at Rochas, De Vilmorin will continue to design his namesake collection.