News & Runway

Designer Dossier: Guillaume Henry of Carven

Guillaume Henry, designer for CarvenIt's likely you've only heard of the label Carven recently. Though the house has a storied past from the heyday of French Couture, its resurrection is the result of a young designer named Guillaume Henry. A fashion wunderkind in the making, Henry is a firm believer in making clothing for women to actually wear in their everyday lives, not just to admire on a catwalk. This philosophy has served him well, as it landed him the Creative Director appointment for Carven. Henry received an unexpected call one day asking him what he thought of the label. He responded that it should move away from custom-made (couture) and go ready-to-wear. The owner liked his answer and in 2009, Henry was whisked away from Paule Ka to recreate and rebuild the storied house. Rebuild he did — in one year, the brand went from 70 retailers to 180. 

Editors and consumers alike have taken notice of this French born and educated talent. Henry studied fashion at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), of which he said all classes were given in English, an added challenge to his already impressive curriculum. He began his career at Givenchy, but left in order to work at Paule Ka where, according to Henry, "A coat is a coat, a dress is a dress." That kind of down-to-earth admission with no apologies is rare in the high fashion world and rarer still from one as young as Henry.

Carven's aesthetic is both modern and classic; elegant, but somehow appropriate whether you're 25 or 65. It's apparent in Henry's collections that he truly loves ready-to-wear clothing and appreciates the desires and needs of fashion loving women everywhere. See some of his most recent looks at what is sure to be a household name in the years to come, no less respected than the likes of Donna Karan or Calvin Klein for its timeless qualities.