ghesquiere_kristen.jpg

Last night, news broke that designer Nicolas Ghesquière (pictured above with Kristen Stewart) is leaving his position as Creative Director at Balenciaga after 15 years.

Ghesquière has been at the helm of the label since he was in his mid-twenties, but will leave at the end of November.

François-Henri Pinault, chairman of PPR (aka The Gucci Group), which has owned Balenciaga since 2001, said "With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house."

Rumours are rife that the decision has to do with Ghesquière's ongoing frustration with PPR and the commercialisation of certain elements of Balenciaga, and possibly even a little jealousy at the amount of creative freedom Hedi Slimane had in rebranding fellow PPR brand Yves Saint Laurent.

Insiders suggest Ghesquière may now make the jump to PPR's big rival, LVMH for his next project. Perhaps we'll see a brand new Ghesquière label, without the restrictions of living up to a legacy.

And what of the future of Balenciaga? This is bound to be a highly contested position - but will PPR bring in a young new talent or go for an established name?