Paris—He seemed like a natural: French born, a 17-year tenure at Balenciaga where he revived the fashion house’s brand, making it—and its accessories–one of fashion’s hottest brands. So it was no surprise that rumors, indeed confirmations, started almost immediately when Marc Jacobs announced he would depart Louis Vuitton to his own brand. Nicolas Ghesquière seemed like a shoe-in for the position.
Then came a terse comment from Louis Vuitton: “Nothing has been decided.”
Today, it was decided: Ghesquière is the new artistic director for the $10 billion luxury brand, Louis Vuitton.
‘What I Lived before Was Preparing Me’
“The Maison Louis Vuitton is thrilled to welcome Nicolas Ghesquière, one of today’s greatest talents,” said the official statement by Louis Vuitton. “He will bring a modern creative vision to the House’s women’s collections, building on the values of refinement, savoir faire and extreme quality which are at the heart of the Louis Vuitton Maison since 1854.”
Ghesquière was apparently ousted from Balenciaga in November 2012 after a dispute over the direction of the brand and was replaced by Alexander Wang. While some believed he would start his owned eponymous brand, Ghesquière appeared to maintain a low profile, awaiting a soon-to-be-available opening at Louis Vuitton.
“I am so happy. It is an excitement. A feeling that what I lived before was preparing me to do this,” Ghesquière said. “Louis Vuitton has always incarnated for me the symbol of ultimate luxury, innovation and exploration. I am very honored of the mission that I am entrusted with, and proud to join the history of this great Maison. We share common values and a vision. I can’t wait to join the team. Together we will build the future of the brand while preserving its precious heritage.”
Don’t expect to hear much more from Ghesquière about his plans or direction. Louis Vuitton stated that he doesn’t plan any interviews until his first collection for the maison, premiering in March 2014.