Nicolas Ghesquière to leave Balenciaga

Today (5 November) it was announced that designer Nicolas Ghesquière will leave his post as creative director of French fashion label Balenciaga on November 30.

The iconic couture house, founded in 1914 by Spaniard Cristobel Balenciaga, was transformed when Nicolas Ghesquière took the reigns in 1997, aged just 25. His innovative designs, from high-collared jackets to slim-line trousers and the Lariat bag attracted a legion of famous fans, including Chloe Sevigny who once admitted “I do worship Balenciaga pants” in an interview.

There's no word as yet as to where Nicholas is headed next - or who will be replacing him at Balenciaga, but in a statement from the house it was confirmed the decision was a joint one, and François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive of PPR, said that "Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house”.

In honour of Ghesquière's remarkable career, we've rounded up some of the most iconic catwalk creations from his time at Balenciaga.

Picture credits: Rex Features and Getty Images

  • Balenciaga Autumn/Winter 2006

    This collection was critically acclaimed for the cocoon shaped jackets, riding hats and windowpane check - a nod to Cristobal Balenciaga's original couture designs.

  • The Balenciaga Lego Shoes

    Created in collaboration with Pierre Hardy, these sandals from the Autumn/Winter 2007 collection were christened "lego" shoes for their similarity to the popular toy, and worn by stars such as Beyonce on stage.

  • Balenciaga Autumn/Winter 2007

    Ghesquière went preppy for this collection of structured blazers and jodphurs.

  • The Balenciaga Lariat bag

    One of the most iconic designs during the 'it bag' era, the Lariat has stood the test of time, and was worn by everyone from Sienna Miller and Kate Moss to the Olsen twins. Produced in 2001, the bag almost never saw the light of day because the Balenciaga bosses thought it was not "rigid enough".

  • Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2008

    The stiff, structured shapes, bold floral prints and those knee high gladiator sandals made this one of the most memorable collections from the house. Actress Jennifer Connelly starred in the campaign.

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