Nicolas Ghesquière is leaving Balenziaga, the house where he has come of age, as of November 30th according to a statement from the PPR-owned design house. Ghesquière has been creative director at Paris-based Balenciaga since 1997, when he was 25-years old. His appointment came as a surprise to much of the industry, following the ouster of his predecessor Josephus Thimister following a highly unsuccessful term at the house. Ghesquière is responsible for expanding the house into menswear, as well as accessories, such as the "it" bag that brought Balenciaga to the forefront of accessories in 2005, the cult favorite: motorcycle bag, which is still being made in various forms today.
François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive of PPR, said: "Cristóbal Balenciaga was a master, a genius whose avant-garde vision dictated fashion's greatest trends and inspired generations of designers. With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house."
Balenciaga's Twitter currently reads: "Thank you Nicolas for bringing back all Cristobal Balenciaga’s values and creativity."