Recently, however, two key members opened up. Nicolas Ghesquière — who has no formal fashion training and got his start in fashion filing, photocopying and cataloguing fabrics at Jean Paul Gaultier — has run the ship for the last 11 years. But only after he designed the lowly licensed lines, including office uniforms, bridal gowns and Japanese widows’ dresses for Balenciaga, first.
Now, he has the pull to have models come in for fittings five times in the two or three day period before the Balenciaga show. And he designs dress like the latex and silk concoctions he came up with for Fall — that retail from $46,000-$86,000 apiece.
Meanwhile, at his side is Sigrid de l'Epine, Balenciaga PR extraordinaire (above left); the woman who is likely behind Kanye West not getting an invitation to the most recent show. So devoted is she, that her son is named Cristobal . . .