LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault and Marc Jacobs have announced the designer’s departure from Louis Vuitton on the final morning of this season’s Paris Fashion Week.
Jacobs’s contract is set to run out in 2014, and the 50-year-old designer, who has been with the brand since 1997, will not be renewing it, according to a report published Wednesday by WWD.
“This [Marc Jacobs] brand has an enormous potential all over the world,” Arnault told WWD. “To materialize this potential, we decided together within the next two or three years, to do an IPO. This requires a lot of investment on our side, a lot of management on our side, and a lot of personal investment for Marc and Robert to really give the input, both creatively and communication-wise on the brand, all over the world. So it will take a lot of the energy of both of them.”
Rumors have been swirling all week of a potential shake-up at Vuitton, but until today the designer’s departure had not been confirmed. It is thought that he will focus, along with business partner Robert Duffy, on an IPO for his own multi-million dollar Marc Jacobs brand, which should occur within the next three years.
Frenchman Nicolas Ghesquière has been touted as the US designer’s replacement. The former Balenciaga creative director left that label after 15 years last November (later replaced by Alexander Wang), and is currently in a court battle regarding his departure.