After 15 fabulous, innovative, invigorating years as Balenciaga’s Creative Director, Nicolas Ghesquière has decided to step down at the end of this month. In all his seasons, he never failed to show Cristobal and his vision the utmost respect, but he also reinvented the house into something the most modern, contemporary women coveted. And covet we have!
Like many fellow snobs, my first Balenciaga bag was the classic Motorcycle in black (later changed to the City bag, as we know it now). It was 2000, and I was newly engaged. And with that bag, I also found myself in love with a new designer! Up until then, the Fendi Baguette had ruled as the undisputed “It” bag. This tough style, with its fringy zipper-pulls and perfectly placed studs changed everything. Since then, we’ve seen it reimagined in every shade and size under the sun.
But Ghesquière was not satisfied to stop there. Badass biker bags eventually gave way to chic sleekness. Enter the current sophistication of the Tube and Padlock, both far more ladylike than their predecessor, without ditching the edge. Finally, he leaves us with a new favorite: the Panoramic, which exudes laidback restraint.
Ironic that the designer who has said “making fashion isn’t about being cool at all” has made some of the coolest bags imaginable. Launching a fresh generation of talented, young designers, he was hailed as fashion’s new messiah in 2001. Over a decade later, he may not be new, but he’s still very much a hero. Here’s to you, Nicolas!