From the enigmatic and avant-garde to the upbeat and ladylike (and oft monogram-laden): While both have storied histories, the house of Balenciaga could not be more different from mega-brand Louis Vuitton. Yet the wise choice of Nicolas Ghesquière to succeed Marc Jacobs was of no surprise to me.
Louis Vuitton grew and flourished with Marc Jacobs at the helm, as he reaped inspiration from showgirls, collaborated with Stephen Sprouse, and put Kate Moss on a carousel. But he and Ghesquière possess very different sensibilities. Nicholas’ brilliance is darker, more pensive than emotional, and – dare I say? – more artistic (at least, in the more traditional sense of the word). He will undoubtedly breathe new life into Louis Vuitton, and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about the bags.
Let’s just compare two bestsellers from the houses: the Louis Vuitton Speedy versus the Balenciaga Le Dix. It’s old-world monogram-mania against a quintessential modern classic-with-a-twist. Will we see fewer logos and more edgy classics? We’ll have to wait until the unveiling of his first collection in March, but all signs point to oui. Louis Vuitton Speedy 30, $910, at Louis Vuitton; Balenciaga Le Dix, $2,250, at Balenciaga.