Nicolas Ghesquière needs to make the brand more exclusive.
The appointment of Nicolas Ghesquière as the new artistic director of Louis Vuitton - following the departure of Marc Jacobs - appears to be a masterstroke from bosses at the fashion house. Ghesquière - announced as the new head creative week - is the man responsible for turning Balenciaga in the hottest brand in French fashion though he'll have a vastly different job at Vuitton.
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"The Maison Louis Vuitton is thrilled to welcome Nicolas Ghesquière, one of today's greatest talents," read a statement. "He will bring a modern creative vision to the House's women's collections, building on the values of refinement, savoir faire and extreme quality which are at the heart of the Louis Vuitton Maison since 1854."
"Louis Vuitton has always incarnated for me the symbol of ultimate luxury, innovation and exploration," said Ghesquière, "I am very honored of the mission that I am entrusted with, and proud to join the history of this great Maison. We share common values and a vision. I can't wait to join the team. Together we will build the future of the brand while preserving its precious heritage."
The French-born designer took over Balenciaga in 1997 - at the time, a lowly fashion company with only a perfume license. There, his cutting edge designs transformed the brand and Ghesquière famously launched the 'it' bag in 2001. The brand expanded globally including a store on Melrose Avenue and Kristen Stewart led a high profile campaign last year.
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The 42-year-old left Balenciaga in November 2012 after disagreements with management over the direction of the company, according to the Los Angeles Times.
His arrival at Louis Vuitton comes as the brand tries to move into a more upmarket segment of the luxury market. Though clearly a blockbuster brand, critics believe Vuitton has overextended itself. With nearly 500 stores worldwide, the brown-and-gold logo bags are everywhere. It doesn't scream exclusivity. Vuitton's products are also easily replicated for the cheap knockoff market.
Ghesquière's first collection for Louis Vuitton will debut in March.
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