Style Fashion

Sunday 26 January 2020

Christopher Kane and Erdem in the running for two top design jobs

Christopher Kane, pictured here with Alexa Chung, is rumoured to be taking over at Balenciaga
Christopher Kane, pictured here with Alexa Chung, is rumoured to be taking over at Balenciaga

The fashion rumour mill is back in action with Christopher Kane and Erdem supposedly in the frame for two top jobs.

Now that Christian Dior finally has a new designer, the fashion world has had to find something else to gossip about. Happily, Nicolas Ghesquière's sudden announcement of his imminent departure from Balenciaga has provided quite the topic.

News reaches us from Paris via West London this morning that London Fashion Week's hottest star, Christopher Kane, is waiting in the wings to helm the good ship Balenciaga when Ghesquière bows out on November 30. This rumour was swiftly pooh-poohed by the Parisian label's PR team, but we're not letting that throw us off the scent because Parisians (particularly the fashion PR variety) have that whole dismissive thing down to an art form.

Kane would certainly be a good fit at the luxury label, but the affable Scot's close ties with the Versace brand (Kane honed his trade under Donatella and was rewarded by being invited to re-launch Versace's second line, Versus, with her in 2009), would certainly be an obstacle to any deal for rival fashion group PPR, whose stable of brands also includes Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. Team Kane are remaining tight-lipped on the subject too - after all, there's certainly no harm in the industry speculating that their charge is in demand for the top job is there?

Meanwhile in Italy where Tod's Group chairman Diego Della Valle is busy working on the re-launch of Schiaparelli, rumours persist that another London Fashion Week star - Erdem Moralioglu - is lined up as creative director. Another good fit, more denials, but the plot thickens with some insiders suggesting that Ghesquière's midnight flit from Balenciaga is all about Schiaparelli.

A more likely outcome, for our money, is that Ghesquière will be trading in the 10 per cent stake in Balenciaga he is rumoured to have negotiated as part of his contract, and using the funds to set up shop on his own.

New York Times fashion commentator Cathy Horyn's tales of Ghesquière's bitterness over "the unusual freedom that Hedi Slimane was given as the new creative director of Saint Laurent, also owned by PPR" bear out this theory. She claims Ghesquière's nose was put firmly out of joint by the way that PPR have allowed Slimane, who has "been inactive in design for about five years and had not done a women's collection… to change the corporate logo and store designs and remain in Los Angeles, commuting as needed to Paris."

Watch this space…

By Belinda White,

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