NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE has finally spoken out about his departure from Balenciaga, revealing that he decided to leave the fashion house after 15 years because he “ended up feeling too alone”. The designer’s exit from the label was confirmed in November last year.
“There wasn’t really any direction. I think with Karl [at Chanel] and Miuccia [Prada], you can feel that it’s the creative people who have the power. It was around that time that I heard people saying, ‘Your style is so Balenciaga now, it’s no longer Nicolas Ghesquière,’” he explained. “It all became so dehumanised. I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore.”
Until now, Ghesquière had yet to speak publicly about the split – but admits that a lack of support on the business-side of the relationship was partly to blame.
“I never had a partner, and I ended up feeling too alone,” he said. “I had a marvellous studio and design team who were close to me, but it started becoming a bureaucracy and gradually becoming more corporate – until it was no longer even linked to fashion. It the end, it felt as though they just wanted to be like any other house.”
News of his departure came as a shock to many in the industry – and Ghesquière revealed that he kept his decision very close to his chest. Although, he suspects that many might have predicted the move.
“I just said to myself, ‘Okay, well you have to leave, you have to cut the cord.’ But I didn’t say anything to anyone, apart from to a few very close people, because, you know, I’ve become pretty good at standing on my own two feet,” he said in an interview with System magazine, reports The Business of Fashion. “Over the last two or three years it became one frustration after another. It was really that lack of culture which bothered me in the end. The strongest pieces that we made for the catwalk got ignored by the business people.”
At the time that the announcement was made, the designer was on a “spiritual trip” in Japan, and only caught up on the reaction from the public and press when he returned – a reaction he described as “very positive” and “quite beautiful”. He has not yet confirmed his next career move.
“Ultimately, I felt okay in the end because it seemed very dignified. I haven’t expressed myself up until now, but I would like to say thank you to everyone, I really am grateful,” he said. “Whatever choice I make [now], the possibilities are open, and that was confirmed with the freeing of my name from Balenciaga. I’m regenerating again, and that’s very exciting because it’s a feeling I haven’t had since I was in my twenties.” Thanks to Sarah Karmali and vogue.co.uk for the news.