Yesterday’s news that leading Paris fashion house Balenciaga and its creative director of 15 years standing, Nicolas Ghesquiere, were to part ways took the industry by surprise.
Ghesquière's latest collection was well received and sales figures at the house were strong. The brand’s public profile was also growing, thanks in part to Kristen Stewart (a friend of Ghesquiere's) becoming the face of Balenciaga's fragrance Florabotanica, and her presence at the catwalk show. So it is still not obvious what the designer’s motivations were – or what he will decide to do next.
But officials at the brand are confident that the house is strong enough to weather this storm. Isabelle Guichot, Balenciaga’s CEO said, ‘The brand is strong enough, developed enough and structured enough to express itself without fear,’ she said. ‘Now the company is so mature in its organisation, in its processes, the business is really moving forward.’
As for Ghesquière’s successor: ‘We have a short list,’ Guichot said, although she declined to name any potential candidates. ‘My biggest interest is to focus the organisation, accompany the team and develop the brand potential, so it’s in my interest to do it as soon as possible,’ she said.
Nicolas Ghesquière is in Japan for a friend’s wedding and could not be reached for comment by the press.