Nicolas Ghesquière, head designer at Balenciaga for over 15 years, has announced his decision to leave his position with the company.

In a move which shocked many within the fashion industry, Ghesquière announced that he would be departing the label with immediate effect. Credited with revitalising the appeal of Balenciaga for the new era, Ghesquière’s collections were consistently highly praised: Alexandra Shulman calling him “unarguably one of the biggest talents in fashion.” With such high praise, and steadily rising profits, Ghesquière’s decision is being seen by the industry as indicative of wider ambitions, and rumours are circulating that Ghesquière plans on launching his own eponymous label.

The question now remains of who will replace Ghesquière at Balenciaga. Scottish designer Christopher Kane seems to be the smart bet at the moment, and last week twitter was buzzing after the French press announced his imminent appointment to the top job. With his experimental, avant guard and edgy designs, Kane fits the profile well, but on Friday a spokesperson told WWD that the rumours surrounding Kane were entirely unfounded. However, the fashion industry seems hopeful of a Brit taking the helm at Balenciaga, with Mary Katrantzou and J W Anderson both thrown in as possible candidates. Whoever the eventual successor is, they will face a tough job following the immensely successful Ghesquière.

Harriet Brown

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