If a friend asked me, ‘what would you choose to wear if you had all the money in the world and could only wear one single brand from top to toe?’, my answer would be ‘Balenciaga’.
It was devastating to hear of this part between Nicolas Ghesquière and Balenciaga - the label he has been creative director of since 1997. Ghesquière and Balenciaga, a match made in heaven, have created a futuristic and young DNA relevant for the new generation. It is designers like Ghesquière who examine the history of a brand carefully, but then who also spend a great deal of time innovating, re-inventing and thinking about the definition of modernity.
It does not make any strategical or logic sense for Ghesquière to leave Balenciaga. Its parent company PPR's profits were up 6.6% in the third quarter of 2012. Ghesquière is responsible for moulding this world of Balenciaga every customer would feel obliged to buy into, and PPR owes most of their profits to the iconic Balenciaga handbags which were introduced in the Classic line in 2000. They gained cult status and prestige and were established as moneymakers for the Balenciaga brand. This is a phenomenal achievement when you consider this in light of how some fashion houses have had their iconic bags for much longer.
With higher profits and Ghesquière's success with the fashion critics, one wonders what could possibly be behind this decision; very little was revealed in Pinault's statement (released earlier on today), where the decision was reported as “joint”. Ghesquière’s time at Balenciaga will officially come to an end on 30th November 2012.
Perhaps the man who is yet to speak seeks change and challenge and is prepared to leave his DNA behind.
Where are you headed Nicolas?