At a time when designers’ longevity within fashion houses is quite rare, Louis Vuitton announced on Tuesday that it has renewed Nicolas Ghesquière contract for another five years. He was appointed as artistic director of women’s collections in November 2013.
“It is a true honour to continue writing the story of Louis Vuitton,” said Ghesquière. “We began the first chapter 10 years ago, defining a new identity based on extraordinary heritage and a constant focus on innovation. In particular, I have had the privilege to harness the talent and expertise of the maison and its teams to develop new codes. I am forever grateful for the trust and support of [LVMH chairman and CEO] Bernard Arnault and [Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO] Pietro Beccari on this incredible journey.”
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The designer, who began his career as design assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier in 1991, went on to become creative director of Balenciaga, where he led the development of several big trends, such as extreme platform shoes. During his decade at Louis Vuitton, Ghesquière has continued to show visionary spirit, establishing himself as a key driver of the brand’s unprecedented growth. He has become known for extraordinary shows that mix fashion and architecture, such as the cruise 2017 show held at Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Rio, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. For Spring/Summer 2024, he sent out a collection that “bears the handcraft of couture” but with a breezy feel, including long, flowing skirts. The show was held in the house’s new space under construction at 103 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which will include hotel rooms. He also dresses France’s first lady, Brigitte Macron. “With Nicolas, it’s a beautiful story. He sends me sketches. We don’t even need to meet. We say OK, we discuss colours. It’s very easy as he is always making me outfits,” she said at the fashion dinner at the Elysée in October.
“I am immensely proud to collaborate with Nicolas Ghesquière who is a true creative genius,” Beccari said in a statement. “His redefinition of the women’s universe at Louis Vuitton, including a sharp new ready-to-wear silhouette, iconic models of leather goods and shoes, and numerous astounding destination shows, has contributed in no uncertain terms to the maison’s success over the past decade. I am very much looking forward to continuing to pave the future of Louis Vuitton together.”
Louis Vuitton’s sales surpassed €20 billion in 2022, making it the world’s largest luxury brand — though even it is not immune to the wider luxury’s growth normalization. Beccari stepped into the CEO role in February 2023 to lead the megabrand to new heights, after quadrupling Dior’s sales when he was CEO between 2018 and 2022. His first move at Louis Vuitton was to appoint Pharrell Williams as the artistic director of men’s collections. Williams started with a bang with his debut show in June. He is set to present his pre-fall collection in Hong Kong on 30 November.
Commenting on his longevity in the role, Ghesquière said in the latest issue of Mastermind, an independent magazine led by his longtime collaborator Marie-Amélie Sauvé: “The long-term nature of collections helps make you aware of your own obsessions and recurring themes. What you can’t always explain, you can express through clothes. That’s why I like to stay in one fashion house for a long time, but that’s obviously more complicated today, as everything seems to have sped up. Then there’s the pace of the collections. In any case, you can’t change that, which isn’t a bad thing since the whole idea of fashion is that it is of the moment.”
Originally published in Voguebusiness.com