7 Designers Who’ve Sold—or Lost—Their Names


Launch Slideshow


The return of Jil Sander to Jil Sander marks a blessed end in the confusion between the two entities that are, well, Jil Sander: the woman and the company. But Sander isn’t the only one who’s been separated from her given name in the cutthroat business that is fashion.

Hervé Léger lost the rights to his own name when his company was acquired by the BCBG Max Azria Group in 1998—though he continues to design under the name Hervé L. Leroux. Roland Mouret also used a new label name—RM by Roland Mouret—after he split with the backers of his eponymous company, though he has since bought back the rights to his name. And speaking of pseudonyms, Thierry Mugler—who no longer has creative control over the fashion line that bears his name (that would be Nicola Formichetti, Gaga’s right-hand man)—now prefers to refer to himself as “Manfred.” Yes, really.

Just today, news broke that Kenneth Cole, the designer, has offered to buy the remainder of Kenneth Cole, the company—currently, he only owns 47 percent, while the rest is publicly owned and traded. After looking back at these designer name debacles, that seems like a pretty smart idea.

From Sander to Calvin Klein, check out our slideshow for more designers who’ve sold or lost the rights to their names.

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