After days of non-stop coverage of Hurricane Sandy, this morning brought some rather explosive fashion news: Designer Nicolas Ghesquière, who has been the creative director of Balenciaga since 1997, is officially parting ways with the storied French brand.
What Happened: WWD reports that Ghesquière and Balenciaga have arrived at a “joint decision to end their working relationship” as of November 30. Last month, the Balenciaga Spring 2013 show in Paris was met with almost universal acclaim, so we’re a bit shocked to hear about this dissolution.
How This Affects You: At this point, if you’re a Balenciaga fan, you’re a Ghesquière fan. His edgy and sophisticated style are credited with completely reinventing the brand over the past 15 years, from its sleek, edgy aesthetic to of-the-moment spokesmodels like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kristen Stewart. As an example of just how much influence Ghesquière has had on the label, consider, for example, Balenciaga’s iconic motorcycle bag—arguably one of the first major “It” bags—which has been the subject of much imitation since its launch in 2001, and remains one of the most well-known products that Balenciaga produces.
Since they haven’t announced who’s taking over, there’s no saying if they will maintain everything he has built. In a world where some new designers have even changed a label’s name (ahem, Saint Laurent Paris), any new talent taking the helm at Balenciaga may choose to take the brand in a new direction.
What’s Going to Happen to Kristen Stewart? We’ll confess that we immediately thought of Ghesquière’s gal pal (and face of the brand’s scent Florabotanica) Kristen Stewart. Is this the end of her collaboration with the brand? Sure, she brings in a ton of publicity, but will her “grungy” aesthetic translate to whoever takes over? This is unclear as of now, but we’ll of course keep you posted.