Nicolas Ghesquière [Getty]
News that Marc Jacobs has left Louis Vuitton after 16 years sent the fashion world into a spin last month. What is the reason? Where is he going? And who will fill his very big boots? Today we have the answer to at least one of these questions: Nicolas Ghesquière is taking the reins. Yes, Louis Vuitton has just announced that Ghesquière is the new Creative Director at the Parisian brand. Rumours started last month that the designer, who left Balenciaga in November, will succeed Jacobs and this afternoon a statement arrived confirming the news.
Since leaving Balenciaga after 15 highly influential years, the world has waited with baited breath to see what Ghesquière would put his hand to next and this may be the perfect way to make his return. He dropped hints about a big project looming and in an interview with System magazine in April revealed his preparations for the next chapter of his career: 'I’m regenerating again, and that’s very exciting because it’s a feeling I haven’t had since I was in my twenties.'
Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2014 [Getty]
The much-heralded French designer, who has dressed stars from Kristen Stewart to Julianne Moore, first worked as an assistant to designer Jean-Paul Gaultier from 1990 until 1992 before designing knitwear for Pôles. Ghesquière eventually landed a job doing the licensing for Balenciaga and designing for the Asian market. It was from there that he was chosen to be the new designer for the French fashion house which had struggled to reinvent itself since Cristobal Balenciaga died in 1972, the year after Ghequiere was born.
The 25-year-old Ghesquière was a surprise choice to take the helm at Balenciaga. He was promoted to creative director in 1997 after his Belgian predecessor Josephus Thimister was fired following a highly unsuccessful show. Balenciaga heads realised his talent when he designed a small collection for one of their Japanese licences. During a 15 year tenure, he was credited with reinvigorating Balenciaga and catapulting it into fashion’s big leagues.
Ghesquière with Kristen Stewart at Balenciaga's SS13 show [Tumblr]
Kristen Stewart, the face of Balenciaga's Florabotanica fragrance, credited Ghesquière with changing her view on fashion. During a live online interview to promote the scent, she said: 'He's really one of the only guys I've ever met in [fashion] that makes me feel like I'm working for a director. He's really creatively impulsive. Fashion can be a very superficial, surface-level thing that is all about money and image, but he really creates a show. You can pull clothes out of a show and it's like watching a movie.'
A shock announcement came in November last year that Monsieur Ghesquière was parting ways with the company. He spoke out about his decision to leave the coveted fashion role, explaining that he felt that the people around him were unable to grasp his creative vision for the brand because they failed to understand fashion and that he was left to work alone, juggling the design, merchandise and commercial tasks of running the French house.
The prospect of Nicolas Ghesquière arriving at Louis Vuitton is a very, very exciting one. But what can we expect from the appointment? Let the predictions begin!
See Nicolas Ghesquière's greatest designs for Balenciaga in the gallery below...