Nicolas Ghesquière says recent Vuitton contract allows him to open his own brand
Looks like Nicolas Ghesquière may, finally, be about to open his own fashion label. Though perhaps not next season.
Two years ago, the designer told TMC's Quotidien, a major talk show on French national television, that one day he planned to have his own signature collection. But when he reappeared on the same talk show this weekend, in the wake of his latest show for Louis Vuitton, which closed the Paris fashion season on Tuesday Oct. 2, he suggested that the chance of creating his own brand was “much closer to reality.”
“After five years chez Louis Vuitton, I have the right to do it now. Before, in 2016, I had a middling right,” Ghesquière told TV host Yann Barthès.
Pressed by Barthès: “So, now you have the right to create your own brand? When? In a year or two?”
To which Ghesquière responded laughingly: “I’ll come back and tell you when!”
In May, Ghesquière signed a new contract with Vuitton, announced by Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, the giant prestige products group that controls Vuitton, the world’s most profitable luxury brand. Previous reports suggested the contract was for three years. However, the 47-year-old designer of Vuitton told Barthès: “I re-signed for not much less than five years.”
A spokesman for LVMH confirmed the length of the contract, while declining to comment on any possible discussions with Ghesquière about financing his own house. However, observers not unfamiliar with the group suggested that Ghesquière was essentially parrying a question rather than making an exact prediction on his future plans as an independent.
Speaking of his experience of working chez Vuitton, the designer argued that the secret of success “is based on liberty and innovation. It’s about making beautiful things and that comes at a price, and that’s what makes our margins.”
LVMH does not break out individual brand’s turnover in its annual reports, but Vuitton’s annual sales are believed to be well in excess of €8 billion.
Barthès also asked the designer about a wave of what he called “politically correct” and “crazy” criticism by primarily English-speaking fashion critics of the debut collection by Hedi Slimane for the house of Celine, another brand within LVMH. Many English and American writers attacked Slimane for equating women’s power with their sexuality.
However, Ghesquière was notably supportive of his fellow designer: “I consider it to be a tempest in a water glass. Receiving criticism is part of our job. However, one can be feminist and wear a mini skirt that affirms one’s femininity. I find it strange that these people (the critics) who want to be progressive can be so reactionary.”
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