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Mugler Has a New Creative Director

Casey Cadwallader has replaced David Koma, who’s left the French house after four years

After four years, David Koma is leaving his post as artistic director for Mugler. The French house announced that the womenswear designer, who was appointed in 2013, will now focus solely on his eponymous, London-based label. 38-year-old American designer Casey Cadwallader has been named as Koma’s replacement, effective immediately.

Koma was first hired to replace Nicola Formichetti, Mugler’s creative director for two years following the iconic brand’s relaunch. Since his appointment, each season in Paris, the Tbilisi-born Koma delivered sharp, ‘80s-tinged wares—slick power suits and sexy cut-outs were common—that were at once sophisticated and powerful. Backstage during his final showing for Spring 2018, he told us, “I think it’s most exciting when a woman can play with whatever she wants” and that it’s “interesting” for him to experiment with elements of “romance, sensuality, and transparency.” 

Cadwallader’s name might not ring a bell, but he has the chops to succeed at a house like Mugler. After studying architecture at Cornell (founding designer Thierry Mugler also studied architecture), he held top positions in the design departments for brands like Loewe, J. Mendel, Narciso Rodriguez, and most recently Acne Studios, where he served as design director for its pre-collections for the past two years. Cadwallader has largely been behind the scenes, but if his social media presence is any indication, his aesthetic (colorful, with heavy art references) will certainly be a departure from Koma’s femme fatale vision. It’s unclear when Cadwallader will present his inaugural collection for the house, but here’s hoping this promising talent can take Mugler to new heights, and won’t have a Lanvin-esque debut.

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