Of Rags and Riches: The Life and Accomplishments of Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director
The talent, will, and strength of character to pursue one’s dream to its maximum potential is found in only a select few individuals. It’s safe to say that in the world of fashion, Nicolas Ghesquière can be counted among those few. His self-made rise to success and fortune is matched only by his imagination and skill as a designer.
Born in northern France and raised in Loudun, Nicolas took advantage of his wealthy upbringing to practice many hobbies and sports, including horseback riding, swimming and fencing. Yet from the young age of 12, he already had strong aspirations to be a fashion designer. He worked diligently toward this goal throughout his adolescent life, from making dresses from his mother’s curtains, to working internships at age 14. By 19, he was already an assistant to Jean-Paul Gaultier, another successful designer. By the age of 25, he was chosen to head Balenciaga, a fashion house in Paris, which gained critical acclaim during the time he spent as its creative director.
During his time designing clothes for the Balenciaga house, Nicolas was known for his skill with contrast in design, from pairing high-waist skinny pants with a large blouse to jumpsuits with puffed sleeves. It’s not a stretch to say Balenciaga’s commercial success during the 2000’s can be attributed to Ghesquière’s contributions to the house.
But it wasn’t until 2013 that Ghesquière would join the Louis Vuitton Maison as its creative director, replacing the previous director of over 15 years, Marc Jacobs. Ghesquière wowed the fashion world with the release of his spring 2015 line, which featured various colorful and contrasting looks. In 2016, he gained worldwide attention with his spring-summer 2016 line, featuring accessories and clothing inspired by Japanese manga.
During his illustrious career, Ghesquière has received critical acclaim in various forms. In 2001 he received the CFDA “International Designer” award. Time Magazine included him in their list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2006. One year into his time with Louis Vuitton, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as Fashion Innovator of the year, and received the British Fashion Award for best international designer that very same year.
Nicolas Ghesquière is currently still working on Louis Vuitton’s 2016 line; and will likely continue to rise in skill, influence and success as he works with the Maison.