“I never had a partner, and I ended up feeling too alone,” Ghesquière admits. “I had a marvellous studio and design team who were close to me, but it started becoming a bureaucracy and gradually became more corporate, until it was no longer even linked to fashion.”
“Everything became an asset for the brand, trying to make it ever more corporate – it was all about branding,” he says. “I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore.”
The designer confesses that he starting feeling alienated and unhappy when the Balenciaga business team failed to predict which catwalk pieces would sell well, instead going straight for the most easily merchandisable product.
“The strongest pieces that we made for the catwalk got ignored by the business people,” Ghesquière says. “They forgot that in order to get to that easily sellable biker jacket, it had to go via a technically mastered piece that had been shown on the catwalk… There was no esteem, interest, or recognition for the research that I’d done.”
Intriguingly, Ghesquière mentions how he’s not the only designer who feels this way. “What’s interesting is how my split from Balenciaga has encouraged people to get in touch with me,” he notes. “They’ve said, ‘Me too, I’m in the same situation. I want to leave too.'”
Hmmmm… Just who would those designers be? Leave your guesses in the comments.
Read the full excerpt from System over at Business of Fashion.