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Fashion's Nicholas Ghesquiere to face ex-employer Balenciaga in court

Published on Jun 26, 2014 5:01 PM
 
French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere appears at the end of the Louis Vuitton fashion show in Monaco, on May 17, 2014. Ghesquiere and the company that chose him at the age of 26 to inherit the Balenciaga throne will face each other across a Paris courtroom. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - For 15 years the collaboration appeared to be among the most harmonious in fashion as designer Nicholas Ghesquiere breathed new life into the fabled fashion house Balenciaga.

But next week, the prodigiously talented Ghesquiere and the company that chose him at the age of 26 to inherit the Balenciaga throne will face each other across a Paris courtroom. In a case that threatens to lift the lid on the relationship between two of the biggest names in fashion, Balenciaga is sueing Ghesquiere, now women's design director at Louis Vuitton, for US$9.5 million (S$11.8 million) for breach of contract.

The company accuses him of breaking the terms of his contract in a series of interviews he gave to London-based fashion magazine System in which he allegedly failed to express himself with "reserve and delicacy", according to court documents seen by AFP. The case has been given a fashion-friendly slot on Tuesday in the short window between the end of the current men's collections which run until Sunday and the start of the couture shows a week later.

Ghesquiere, appointed creative director at the historic fashion house of Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga in 1997, is credited with putting the Balenciaga name back on the fashion map.

 
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