Wonderland.

NICOLAS GHESQUIèRE: WHY I LEFT BALENCIAGA

Ghesquière reveals why he left Balenciaga after 15 years as designer.

Nicolas Ghesquiere Reasons for Leaving Balenciaga
Taking a collection from the runway to a shop takes more than tears, effort and compromise between design and business teams – it also takes its toll on individual designers. Just ask ex-Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière.

In an candid interview with new publication System, the 42-year-old talks about the reasons behind his shock departure from Balenciaga, which saw Alexander Wang ushered in as his replacement.

“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.

NICOLAS GHESQUIèRE: WHY I LEFT BALENCIAGA

Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related →