Marc Jacobs was one of the first of the top tier designers to leave big brands -- in this case Louis Vuitton -- to devote his full-time attention to his own label. LVMH's Bernard Arnault scrambled today to douse "erroneous information that Nicolas Ghesquiere might soon leave as artistic director of Louis Vuitton". Ghesquiere's contract is not due for renewal until the end of 2018, a spokesman said.
Louis Vuitton is the world's biggest luxury brand, generating nearly 8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in annual revenue from over 70 luxury brands and businesses in a portfolio that includes fashion, wine, jewelry and hotels. The flagship Louis Vuitton brand accounts for the bulk of the profit at LVMH.
Ghesquiere, 45, reportedly told French TV channel Canal Plus in early June that he wanted to focus on his own brand and it just might be possible sooner rather than later. Insiders say that Arnault and his No. 2 executive, daughter Delphine, both adore the playful designs and artistic inspiration of 32-year-old designer J.W. Anderson. The fashion monolith took a minority stake in the North Irish designer's business in 2013.
Louis Vuitton Gets Packaging Update
What we do know is that Louis Vuitton is closing the trunk on its signature brown shopping bag, saying out with drab and in with a shade of yellow that Vuitton calls "Imperial Saffron. The new shade has held a wallflower position in select Vuitton pieces since 1924. The new saffron packaging will be accented with bright cobalt blue handles and ribbons, for an effect that is anything but sedate.
"We don't want the packaging to be fashionable. It's supposed to have quite a long life cycle. In most cases, brand colors play off of black and white. We wanted to be different," Michael Burke, CEO of Vuitton told WWD.
Marc Newson Revamps Louis Vuitton Luggage in Bright Colors
Louis Vuitton's iconic trunks are also under the design microscope in a reinvention by Australian designer Marc Newson. Coupled with the classic monographed models, Newson's new Rolling Luggage also hits the road in bright orange, pink and yellow colors with minimal logos.