In an announcement that surprised exactly nobody, Louis Vuitton officially named former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière (pictured left) as Artistic Director of Women's Collections starting right now. He succeeds Marc Jacobs who bowed out in September with a dramatic runway extravaganza. Ghesquière had been rumored for the job from the time of his surprising and not particularly amicable exit from Balenciaga about a year ago, although many fashion pundits were rooting for him to go solo and start his own signature label (which he may still be able to do). Once Jacobs confirmed the end of his tenure, it was practically a given among insiders that Ghesquière would step in. The designer will take the design reins of a company roughly 20 times as large (and possibly even more bureaucratic) than the one he left, not that anyone thinks he may not be up to the task. His history of creating covetable accessories will also serve him well at Vuitton, which is said to be looking to upgrade its fashion image from a logo-driven accessory label to that of a more rarefied luxury brand in the mold of Hermès. Ghesquière's first collection will be shown in March. Let's hope he continues Jacobs' habit of live-streaming the event so we can all get up before the crack of dawn to get a glimpse of the next phase of Louis Vuitton.
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