Louis Vuitton gets Marc Jacobs’ replacement

February 23, 2014 - 6:16:02 am
PARIS: Four months after Paris fashion bid farewell to Marc Jacobs, the man who transformed Louis Vuitton into a global style giant, all eyes will next week be on his successor.

Former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s first show for the Parisian luxury brand will be the highlight of nine days of ready-to-wear catwalk shows for autumn/winter 2014-15 due to begin on Tuesday.

In emotional scenes rarely seen in the rarefied world of high fashion, the US designer — under whose stewardship “Vuitton mania” saw queues around department stores — received a standing ovation on news that his October show was to be his last.

Credited with taking Vuitton from “stodgy luggage house” to one of the most sought-after brands in the world, particularly in the lucrative Asian market, Jacobs’ departure after 16 years marked the end of an era.

“That’s one hell of an act to follow,” Vogue magazine commented at the time, while website fashion.com warned that living up to 50-year-old Jacobs’ “fearless and fabulous” showmanship would be among the many challenges his successor would face.

The designer left Vuitton, which marks its 160th anniversary in 2014, to concentrate on a stock exchange flotation of his own brand. Announcing the much-tipped Ghesquiere’s arrival at the brand in November, Vuitton said the Frenchman would take responsibility for catwalk shows, ready-to-wear collections and shoes and accessories. 

Vuitton is parent company LVMH’s most profitable brand, accounting for more than 70 percent of annual sales of its fashion and leather goods division. AFP