Born: Comines, France, 1971
At fifteen Nicolas Ghesquière secured a summer internship working at Agnès B. in Paris. Three years later in 1989, Ghesquière declared he was moving to Paris to immerse himself in fashion.
In 1990 he secured an assistant job to Jean Paul Gaultier. After a few years experience Ghesquière left and began to work as a freelance knitwear designer.
In 1995 Ghesquière was hired by Balenciaga’s parent company to design golf, knitwear and mourning outfits in Japan. Three years later, when Balenciaga’s creative director Josephus Thimister was fired, Ghesquière was offered the position. Relatively unknown to the fashion world, he began to mould his own innovations with those of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s.
At the time he was designing womenswear for Trussardi but shortly left and presented his first ready-to-wear collection for Balenciaga’s Le Dix Spring 1998 show. Ghesquière used volume and modernity in a similar spirit to the labels founder. The collection was well received.
After two and half years under Ghesquière’s direction, Balenciaga reported sales had double to $30 million.
In 2000 Ghesquière released the Lariat handbag. The bag caught the attention of Kate Moss and other celebrities. That September he presented a spring collection for design house Callaghan, where he was hired as a consultant. The following month Ghesquière was named Best Avant-Garde Designer at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.
The Gucci Group acquired a 91 percent share of the company in 2001. Ghesquière owned the remaining shares. The following year a small menswear collection was unveiled and the first boutique opened in New York in February the year after.
In 2004 Ghesquière took inspiration from Balenciaga’s archives, rereleasing and updating the classic Balenciaga bag in different sizes and colours. He followed this by launching Balenciaga Edition, a capsule collection inspired by past Balenciaga designs. This further connected his style to the labels founder.
Ghesquière served as cochair at the Metropolitan’s Costume Institute gala in homage to Paul Poiret in 2007. The following year he received the Accessories Council Excellence Award for Designer of the Year.
In 2010 Ghesquière received International’s Superstar award. The following year in January, he hired Katherine Ross as a consultant for Balenciaga’s expansion in the U.S market.
Nicolas Ghesquière has successfully experimented with fashion while setting trends. He’s directed Balenciaga masterfully and revived Cristóbal Balenciaga’s personal style while adding a contemporary, hard edged femininity to the brand. His designs are rigorously precise and exude a sexy confidence -Ghesquière is redefining womenswear.
Ghesquière left Balenciaga in November 2012 and was named creative director for Louis Vuitton in November 2013 after Marc Jacobs anounnced his departure. He presented his firts collection for the french maison at the Cour Carrée du Louvre during the Autumn Winter 2014 Paris Fashion Week.
On November 4, 2013, Nicolas Ghesquière officially became the creative director for Louis Vuitton’s women’s collections, succeeding Marc Jacobs. Some of his initial designs were worn by actress Jennifer Connelly on the red carpet. His first show under the LV brand took place on March 5, 2014. Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director for the women’s collections was renewed by LVMH in 2018 and again in 2022.
Since joining Louis Vuitton, Ghesquière has showcased his designs in various architectural landmarks, including the Louvre in Paris, Monaco’s Palace Square, Hope Residence in Palm Springs, the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro, the Miho Museum near Kyoto, Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, and the TWA Flight Center.
In 2019, Ghesquière collaborated with the video game League of Legends, designing character skins.
Ghesquière’s talent and influence have been recognized with several awards and accolades. He was named avant-garde designer of the year at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards in 2000 and received the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2001. In 2006, he was among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. He was also honoured as Designer of the Year at the Accessories Council Excellence Awards and International Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.
In his personal life, Ghesquière has had relationships with Pierre Hardy, James Kaliardos, Julien Dossena, and Pelayo Díaz.
In 2022, Ghesquière acquired John Lautner’s Wolff House for $11 million from Amanda Hearst in an off-market deal.
Nicolas Ghesquière Biography