Lagerfeld says Ghesquiere with Arnault "not bad idea"
By Astrid Wendlandt
PARIS (Reuters) - Star designer Karl Lagerfeld said the departure of Nicolas Ghesquiere from Balenciaga as artistic director to create his own brand with backing from LVMH's Bernard Arnault would "not be a bad idea" as the group owned many old labels.
"Perhaps Nicolas wants to have his own label, which is not a bad idea," Lagerfeld told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
"And it would not be a bad idea if somebody such as Bernard Arnault would invest in a new label because there are so many old labels (within the LVMH group)," Lagerfeld said about the chief executive of the world's biggest luxury group.
PPR, the French group which owns Balenciaga, shocked the fashion world by announcing this week the departure of Ghesquiere, who had been with the brand since 1997 and was the main architect of its revival.
The International Herald Tribune reported this week that one option for Ghesquiere was to create his own brand with the backing of Arnault, who controls LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group, which owns many fashion brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Celine.
Founded by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1919, his eponymous brand thrived until the late 1960s and then lay dormant until Ghesquiere took over as designer. The brand started to expand worldwide after PPR acquired it in 2001.
Balenciaga did not explain Ghesquiere's departure clearly when it made the announcement on Monday but it suggested the designer was longing for a new creative adventure.
Lagerfeld, who runs his own brand on top of working as artistic director for LVMH's Fendi and for privately owned Chanel, said he could not think about the succession. Continued...