NEW YORK (AP) — Less than two years after joining Oscar de la Renta and following in the footsteps of its late, legendary founding designer, Peter Copping is leaving his post as creative director to return to Europe.
Copping said he was leaving the luxury label for personal reasons. The development was just the latest in a turbulent year for top fashion houses, with turnover at Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein, among others.
“I have loved my time in New York where I hope to return at some point in the future,” Copping said in a statement released by the company Wednesday evening.
Copping, who is British, joined the company in October 2014, having previously served as creative director at Nina Ricci in Paris. He was hoping to work alongside de la Renta himself. But it was not to be: Just days after Copping was hired, the famous designer died of cancer.
Copping presented his debut New York Fashion Week collection in February of 2015.
This past February, several collections later, he spoke of a delicate balance between keeping de la Renta’s legacy alive and also bringing fresh ideas to the label.
“I’m very respectful of the legacy of the house but you have to challenge it as well, it can’t just stand still,” Copping told The Associated Press backstage at Fashion Week. “You need to move forward. But it’s very important to do it gradually, step by step.”
Longtime devotees were surprised, at that show, to see a leather dress in a shade of raspberry — something new for the classic label.
“It was something new to put into an Oscar de la Renta show,” Copping said. “I think the silhouettes felt very Oscar in some ways, fitted through the waist and then going into a bell skirt. But the material took it somewhere else.”
In an example of his efforts to mix old and new, Copping said he was looking at old 18th-century fabrics like tapestries to inspire his patterns, but was also inspired by contemporary artist Jeff Koons and his famous balloon animals.