Paris—Just hours after his latest Louis Vuitton runway show earlier today, the fashion world found out that after 16 years as designer Marc Jacobs will end his run at the luxury house in 2014.
Jacobs is generally credited with helping Louis Vuitton’s image, prestige and fashion cachet, boosting annual sales to about $9.5 billion (approximately half of parent LVMH’s operating profits).
Relations between Jacobs, 50, and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault were sometimes believed to be on the contentious side but reports are that both decided that Jacobs needed to devout more time to his own brand, which has sales nearing $1 billion.
It is believed that Jacobs and collaborator/business partner Robert Duffy will follow a similar route that Michael Kors treaded and take Marc Jacobs public within three years.
Speaking backstage at his show today, Jacobs called his swan song show “an ode to Paris and to all the people I have been involved and work with. This city has been so great.”
No replacement has been named for Jacobs, though the name most frequently floated as successor is Nicolas Ghesquière, former designer at Balenciaga.