Balmain is expected to announce its separation from Decarnin as early as today, and his successor shortly thereafter.
It is understood an internal candidate is the front-runner to take up the design helm at a house Decarnin made synonymous with audacious, ultrasexy – and ultra expensive – ashions.
The painfully shy designer was absent from Balmain’s fall 2011 show, under doctor’s orders, after seeking treatment in Paris for depression. However, sources close to the designer say speculation about Decarnin’s mental health was overblown.
In fact, tensions between the designer and Balmain’s chairman and chief executive officer Alain Hivelin had reached a breaking point, with the two men said to have widely divergent views on the company’s strategy and future direction.