Nicolas Ghesquière to Leave Balenciaga [Updated]

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Photo: Giovanni Giannoni/Corbis

WWD writes:"The designer and the fashion house are citing a 'joint decision to end their working relationship' effective Nov. 30." François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of PPR, released the following statement: "Cristóbal Balenciaga was a master, a genius whose avant-garde vision dictated fashion’s greatest trends and inspired generations of designers. With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house."

After assisting Jean Paul Gaultier, and working on knitwear at Pôles, Ghesquière originally joined Balenciaga, at age 23, to create, "among other things, funeral clothes for the Japanese licensing market," according to the Times. He was named creative director of the brand two years later, in 1997.

Speaking about his rocky start at Balenciaga, Ghesquière recently told the Sunday Times: "Yes, we did have a size issue. We started very skinny, it's true. Strangely, we didn't have fit models at all to ... begin with — just to give you an idea of the size of the company. So we did fittings on the girls at the studio and they were often quite petite. I had a tendency to think good cut and small size, but it should be a good cut in big sizes, too."

As WWD points out, "The news of the separation comes only a month after Ghesquière staged one of the most acclaimed shows of the spring 2013 fashion season." And just as Kristen Stewart found her footing as the ambassador of the brand's Florabotanica scent.

This post has been updated throughout.