In an unexpected announcement yesterday, a split between Balenciaga and Nicolas Ghesquiere was made public by parent company PPR. The end of Ghesquiere’s 15-year reign at Balenciaga was referred to as a “joint decision” in a PPR release, although speculations have been made as to who played the larger role in initiating the divorce.
In reality, it’s not like we couldn’t have seen this coming. It’s true that the names “Ghesquiere” and “Balenciaga” have become synonymous with one another, and it’s together that they’ve both grown. But the fact is that when it comes to any job, eventually the talent will get to a point where they plateau and the only way to reach a higher level is to move on. And after fifteen years of providing the label with one successful collection after another, Ghesquiere may well have felt he’d paid his dues.
Perhaps the biggest indication that it was the designer who pushed for the split? The Spring/Summer 2013 collection was one of the most successful and critically acclaimed shows of the season -- and of Ghesquiere’s career at Balenciaga. Just like when a lover who’s feeling neglected loses 15 lbs. and gets a makeover pre-break-up as if to say “you’re gonna miss this when it’s gone”, in hindsight Ghesquiere’s farewell collection carries a hint of vengeance.
Or maybe not – but you decide. The Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2013 collection, designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere: