(Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America) Earlier this month, Louis Vuitton named Nicolas Ghesquière its new creative director, in place of Marc Jacobs, who relinquished his position to focus solely on his name brand. The announcement came a year after the French designer stepped down from Balenciaga, where he held the same title and is now succeeded by Alexander Wang.
Ghesquière joined Balenciaga, which is owned by Kering, in 1995 as a licensed product designer before heading up the fashion house––a feat that took him a mere two years. At the age of 25, Ghesquire was promoted to creative director, a stint he carried on for 15 years. "For me, Balenciaga has a history that is just as important as that of Chanel, even if it’s a lesser-known name," the designer told System magazine. "It had the modernity, it was contemporary, and I’ve always positioned it as a little Chanel or Prada." Within that time, the designer helped commercialize the brand, while cultivating a star-studded following along the way.
(Christopher Polk/Getty Images North America; Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images Entertainment; Bauer Griffin)Ghesquière's creations have been a favorite on the red carpet. Case in point: these A-list actresses among many others. The designer dressed Emma Stone and Nicole Kidman in classically elegant gowns, while Jennifer Connelly looked great in one of his exaggerated hourglass floral frocks. In turn, he has accumulated a slew of faithful followers.
(Vince Bucci; Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America; FameFlynet Pictures; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin; PacificCoastNews.com)"I've felt the happiest I've ever felt wearing these clothes," actress and friend to the designer Kristen Stewart told German magazine 032c. "I've also felt androgynous and rigid - it's like wearing a building."
Despite his accomplishments for the brand, the transition from Balenciaga to Louis Vuitton was less than smooth. Controversy ensued following a very candid interview with System magazine in April 2013, in which Ghesquière detailed his side of the separation from the brand. In response, Balenciaga filed suit against the designer for "breach of duty of confidentiality." According to WWD, a full court hearing will take place early 2014.
(ImaxTree)Ghesquière's last collaboration with Balenciaga was his Spring/Summer '14 collection, which made its runway debut during Paris Fashion Week. The designer remains hopeful about his future with Louis Vuitton. "It is an excitement," Ghesquière told International Herald Tribune. "A feeling that what I lived before was preparing me to do this."