Lanvin, the oldest French couture house still in business, founded in 1889 in Paris, has brought back to life its archives, replicating some models from last century that still look utterly contemporary, in a unique initiative for its 130th Anniversary, which will be celebrated with a capsule collection and an exhibition in Shanghai. Bruno Sialelli, the label’s creative director since last January, has conceived the 130th Anniversary collection primarily to emphasise Jeanne Lanvin’s modernity. Sialelli delved into the label’s archives and selected three exceptional items designed by Lanvin’s founder, which will be exactly replicated in a limited-edition collection. Alongside this mini collection, called ‘Reedition’, Sialelli designed a capsule collection consisting of highly contemporary items like long jersey cotton dresses, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sneakers, jeans, scarves, handbags, eyewear and hats, all featuring classic Lanvin details and motifs from the beginning of last century. The collection reconnects with Lanvin’s signature spirit, especially its Art Deco aesthetic blending exotic, ethnographic, religious and even medieval influences. It is also a clever way of promoting the label’s history and expertise, especially in China, the market where Lanvin is most keen to expand. At the start of 2018, Lanvin was bought by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, via the latter’s Fosun Fashion Group subsidiary. Now led by Jean-Philippe Hecquet, the label wants to generate between 35 and 40% of its sales in China. And in Shanghai, where Lanvin recently opened a flagship store – its seventh in China – in the BFC-Bund Finance Center, the label is also staging the ‘Dialogues’ commemorative exhibition, hosted by the Fosun Foundation. Until February 9, the exhibition will showcase 75 models retracing the label’s history. After Lanvin was bought by Fosun, its creative studio has been strengthened in order to focus more on accessories, which are expected to become a new growth driver for the label, with the goal of generating nearly 50% of its sales within three years. Lanvin currently operates 26 monobrand stores and is sold in 30 countries, its main markets being the USA, China, Europe – especially France, Italy and the UK – and also the Middle East.