If PPR invests in Christopher Kane's eponymous label, will they ask him to return the favor by taking the reins at Balenciaga?
Sources told WWD that Kane has been in talks with the French luxury goods conglomerate — which also owns Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent — about financial backing for his line. This news comes hot on the heels of Kane's departure from Versace's Versus line, which he designed for six seasons. It also comes just two days before Nicolas Ghesquière is set to leave Balenciaga.
Speculation that Kane would replace Ghesquière has been floating around since Ghesquière's departure was announced earlier this month — but a Kane spokeswoman called those rumors "unfounded." Ghesquière, who, rumor has it, may start his own label with LVMH, was spotted last week having dinner in Paris with LVMH's Delphine Arnault, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, and Camille Miceli, Dior's artistic director for costume jewelry.
In any case, it's not unprecedented for a big firm to make an investment in a small brand on the condition that its designer works for one of its larger houses. For example, when LVMH bought a stake in Marc Jacobs's line in 1997, he ended up as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. Whether the same will happen with Kane and Balenciaga remains to be seen.