Speculation abounds about what Nicolas Ghesquière's life will look like after he leaves Balenciaga, but there are some in the industry who aren't confident he'll be able to start a signature label.
"I don't see private equity or hedge funds backing (a Ghesquière) brand, because of time horizon and fashion risk," said Pierre Mallevays of the London investment bank Savigny Partners in an interview with WWD. "Only a strong group with a confident vision and the means to boot would seriously contemplate that. The temptation for any such potential backer will be to try to apply Ghesquière's talent to an established brand with operating leverage, not just to a start-up, however prestigious."
Mallevays is one of a number of financiers and other business experts who said starting a brand from scratch — even a brand built on a talent like Ghesquière's — is a risky proposition. Their commentary comes on the heels of Karl Lagerfeld saying it wouldn't be "a bad idea" for Ghesquière to start his own line, as well as rumors that Bernard Arnault and LVMH have already offered him the ability to do so.
Sources claiming to be close to Ghesquière say he'll take a break from designing but has been "seriously considering" starting his own brand and is open to working for another house.
Photo: Nicolas Ghesquière in the March 2010 issue of Numéro.