Exclusive: LVMH considers creative director change at Louis Vuitton - sources

Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:27pm EDT
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By Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters) - LVMH boss Bernard Arnault is considering a change of creative director at Louis Vuitton with the up-and-coming Jonathan Anderson, now at sister brand Loewe, viewed as the best candidate to replace Nicolas Ghesquiere, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter.

The timing and the terms under which the reshuffle would happen have not yet been determined, the sources said. However, they added the matter was being actively discussed at LVMH.

LVMH declined to comment when contacted before publication.

Later, LVMH denied the "erroneous information that Nicolas Ghesquiere might soon leave as artistic director of Louis Vuitton". Ghesquiere's contract is not due for renewal until the end of 2018, a spokesman said.

Louis Vuitton is the world's biggest luxury brand, generating nearly 8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in annual revenue and accounts for the bulk of profit at parent LVMH, owner of 70 luxury brands and businesses, ranging from fashion and wine to jewelry and hotels.

"People in the studio are expecting him (Ghesquiere) to leave, possibly as early as after the October collection," one of the sources said.

Ghesquiere, 45, told French TV channel Canal Plus in early June that we wished to create his own label and would be in a position to do it very soon but he did not provide details.

Designers at big brands including Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Hermes - Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Christophe Lemaire, respectively - have left in recent years to develop their own labels.   Continued...

French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere appears at the end of his Fall/Winter 2016/2017 women's ready-to-wear collection show for Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier