A 'Fashion Friendly' Court Date Is Set For Balenciaga's Lawsuit Against Nicolas Ghesquière

05 February 2014 by


This morning the trial date has been set for Balenciaga's lawsuit against Nicolas Ghesquière for breach of contract. The hearing will take place in 'fashion friendly' July, so we'll have to wait until then to hear what's next in his split from Balenciaga. Find the case a bit confusing? Frightened of legal jargon? Well not to worry we have broken down the fall out into a timeline below, with zero scary legal terminology...

November 2012

Nicholas was at the helm of French fashion house Balenciaga for 15 years, before the brand made a shock announcement in November last year that Nicolas Ghesquière was parting ways with the company.

April 2013

 Ghesquière didn't reveal his reasons for leaving the house until April when he gave an interview to System Magazine. Ghesquiére said:

'It was around that time that I heard people saying, ‘Your style is so Balenciaga now, it’s no longer Nicolas Ghesquière, it’s Balenciaga’s style.’ It all became so dehumanised. Everything became an asset for the brand, trying to make it ever more corporate – it was all about branding. I don’t have anything against that; actually, the thing that I’m most proud of is that Balenciaga has become a big financial entity and will continue to exist. But I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore.'

Nicolas Ghesquiere at his S/S 2012 show, Image: Rex

September 2013

In September court documents showed that Balenciaga is seeking damages of 7 million euros over the interview in System magazine. According to the filing, these comments violated the “separation agreement” that Ghesquière signed on October 17, 2012, which said that he 'refrain from declarations that could hurt the image of Balenciaga.' Lines mentioned in the lawsuit include, 'I feel as though I was sucked dry' and 'they wanted to steal my identity.'

The court document says: 'Balenciaga didn’t want its designer to justify his departure by criticizing the house that employed him. In general, the parties, knowing the hypersensitivity of the fashion industry to changes in creative direction, were forbidden from commenting on the break in order to avoid any detrimental effect on their economic interests or their image.'

The court documents also say that Ghesquière was paid 6.6 million euros as compensation for breaking his employment contracts, signed in 2010 and 2012. Plus WWD report that he received 32 million euros for the sale of his 10% stake in the company.

Left: The Designer with Kristen Stewart, Right: The Designer With Chloe Sevigny, Both Images: Rex

5 February 2014

The date has been set for the hearing of the lawsuit brought by Balenciaga against their former designer, Nicolas Ghesquière. The hearing will take place on July 1, as according to WWD the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris selected a fashion-friendly date as this date falls in between the men's shows and couture week. On this date the court will listen to the claims in the civil case and WWD report that 'A legal source said a ruling could come as early as September, but cautioned that the trial date could yet shift from July 1.'


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