Marc Jacobs has announced his retirement as Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, following months of speculation that he is eager to concentrate on his eponymous labels.
His reign at the French fashion house lasted an impressive 16 years, transforming what was a simple leather goods label into a figurehead of international fashion supremacy. But yesterday, just before Jacobs presented his latest collection for Louis Vuitton, he announced that it would be his last. Jacobs confirmed the news to wwd.com, along with his business partner Robert Duffy and LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. The fashion rumour mill is already awash with reports that Duffy is looking to follow suit and step down from Louis Vuitton at the end of his contract, which is scheduled for review later this year.
The other hot topic is, of course, who will replace 50-year-old Jacobs at the helm of Louis Vuitton? Though nothing has been confirmed – nor denied for that matter – it is strongly anticipated that Nicolas Ghesquière (former creative director for Balenciaga) is being primed as his successor.
The world of fashion will be quaking in their decadent bowed heels as they await news of Jacob’s next move. His eponymous labels, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, are expected to roll out their initial public offering in approximately three years.
All that aside, the designer certainly made his exit from Louis Vuitton in typical extrovert style. Long considered a wild child of Paris Fashion Week, along with the likes of the late Alexander McQueen, Jacob’s final collection brought showmanship by the bucket load – and we’re not just talking about the clothes.
There was a huge fountain, old lifts, a carrousel and escalators on the runway, setting an extravagant backdrop that drew on his greatest hits. Mirroring his first show for Louis Vuitton, the garments were a complete blackout. Jacob’s dedicated the collection to all the women who had inspired him throughout his career and “the showgirl in every one of them”.