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.
Industry journal Women’s Wear Daily predicted that Ghesquiere “known for his exacting couture-like approach” would help Vuitton in its “quest to build a more upscale and elite reputation after years of rapid global expansion”.