British Vogue’s editor Alexandra Shulman sat down with Nicolas Ghesquière for an interview that is being published in full in the magazine’s October issue. In the meantime, however, the publication has released a sneak peek and here are some of the most interesting excepts (think: Ghesquière says he feels “liberated” at Louis Vuitton, he is “happy to be copied” (referring to his trademark narrow, cropped jackets, short A-line skirts, skinny vinyl trousers and sharp coats), and he talks a bit about the Louis Vuitton woman) …
On feeling liberated: Nicolas talks quickly and emphatically … somehow unexpected from the man who had just started on the big job, the same man who, in previous years, appeared a little tortured by the burden of Balenciaga, as if he were always reaching out for something frustratingly just out of his grasp. “I am liberated,” he says. “Vuitton has this lightness. Maybe that’s not the word? But for me it is lightness. It’s the pleasure of incredible resources. Of not feeling the limit of possibilities. I am not testing if I can get this or get that. I am just doing it. Vuitton is giving me that confidence.”
On the Louis Vuitton woman: Ghesquière is nothing if not visionary but his vision for Vuitton is pragmatic, and rooted in an understanding of the house as the totemic business it is, rather than the whimsy of an individual designer. “You know the Vuitton woman is someone who is interested in fashion but she’s not someone who is craving the last new thing. She has a sense of excellence, of quality, of timeless pieces.
On being copied: “I am happy to be copied … One of the things I take as a compliment is if I see a woman not wearing my clothes but wearing my silhouette.”
On his daily routine: On a day at home in Paris (“there is no usual day”) he has a healthy breakfast of pomegranate juice, maybe some muesli or toast and works out “if I wake early. But early is not early.”
On the Louis Vuitton team: “I had 10 people come with me but the people here…” his voice drops to a whisper for emphasis “…are wonderful. It’s quite incredible the team Marc put together.” Only three people left.
On his Iconographic Research Manager: I have this person sitting next to me, Florent Buonomano. I do files to prepare for the collection and he finds the references and sources the things that are around the subject.” Florent has the literal title of Iconographic Research Manager. “Then he transmits information to the design team.”
On how he works with his team: “You have to try to listen to people, hear what they bring to the table and then you have to keep yourself raised above it. Share your vision but let them speak. Adapt. Push them to do things.”
On becoming less of a micro-manager: “At Vuitton I can do this. They have such high expectations themselves that if something is not good enough, they won’t show it to me in the first place … I used to be pushing, pushing, pushing everyone until – oof – it was there. But it’s another moment of my life now.”