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LANVIN CHAIRMAN TO RESIGN

The chairman of French fashion house Lanvin, who kicked up a storm when he unleashed radical designer Claude Montana on the conservative world of haute couture, is to quit his post this summer.

A spokeswoman said Wednesday that Lanvin chairman Leon Bressler would hand in his resignation after the July shows.

Britain's Midland Bank bought a stake in Lanvin in March 1989 and Bressler was brought in from the bank's French branch to revamp the fading fortunes of Jeanne Lanvin's fashion house.

His most controversial decision was to ask Montana, one of Paris' most influential and modernistic designers, to take over the house's individually tailored haute couture line.

Montana's much-trumpeted first collection, which made no attempt to mimic the smart little suits usually favored by high-fashion stylists, was panned by critics, who accused Bressler of making a major tactical mistake.

Bressler's long-term future at Lanvin appeared in doubt in February when Midland sold Lanvin to Orcofi, a French holding company controlled by the leather goods family business Vuitton.

The former managing director of rival house Chanel, Michel Pietrini, is widely being cited as Bressler's successor, but the spokeswoman could not confirm his nomination.

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