After Denying Balenciaga Rumors, Designer Christopher Kane Parts Ways With Versus

Perrie Samotin

Christopher Kane

The plot around It-designer Christopher Kane continues to thicken, it seems, with a new announcement this morning that Kane will be parting ways with Versace’s Versus line, whose relaunch Kane’s engineered since  2009.

If you missed this weekend’s developments, here’s a quick rundownOn Friday night, the fashion universe starting buzzing about a French report claiming Kane would be succeeding designer Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga — a post Ghesquiere recently announced he’d be vacating after 15 years at the helm. The news caused something of a fashion flurry, with a staggering number of media outlets—from Lucky to The Daily Beast—picking up the report, likely because Balenciaga ranks up there with some of fashion’s most beloved (and storied) design houses.

Then, just as we were all mulling the implications of this interesting shift, Kane denied the move. “Rumors surrounding Christopher Kane’s appointment as creative director of Balenciaga are unfounded,” a spokesperson told WWD.

End of story, right? Not exactly.

This morning, we awoke to a WWD report announcing Kane’s plans to part ways with Versace, a mutual decision reached as the Italian label attempts to “reposition its younger brand [Versus] as a seasonless line with a strong digital element that will be designed by Donatella Versace in collaboration with a number of yet-to-be-named young designers, stylists, and creative talents. Together, they will develop capsule collections, co-branding projects and limited editions under the Versus moniker.”

So, inevitable questions much be asked: Is the announcement that Kane’s got a pretty massive opening in his schedule a well-timed coincidence? Is Balenciaga merely not ready to confirm Kane as its new designer? Will Kane land somewhere else? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s a pretty safe bet this story isn’t entirely over.