Today in Paris, Marc Jacobs announced his departure from Louis Vuitton after a sixteen-year tenure (more of an era, really), confirming previous rumors that he was leaving to focus fully on his eponymous brand, which he plans to take public within the next three years. WWD broke the news, which was relayed by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault along with Jacobs himself and his business partner Robert Duffy. It means that today's showgirl-inspired Vuitton collection at Le Carre du Louvre — which opened with model Edie Campbell in nothing but a black jeweled thong, towering feathered headpiece, and glittery, Stephen Sprouse–inspired body paint — was his last.
Recent reports suggest that Jacobs will be succeeded by Nicolas Ghesquière, who left his job at Balenciaga last year and is currently battling a lawsuit filed by his former employers, who allege that he violated the terms of his departure by talking smack about them in an interview with System magazine. Either way, he'd be a popular choice — his absence from the industry has been widely mourned.
Jacobs and Duffy will let their contract with Vuitton expire at the end of this year, although LVMH continues to be a part-owner of Jacobs's label. The luxury conglomerate currently has a minority stake in Jacobs's company and owns about one third of his trademarks, so they will play a large role in the label's eventual public listing. Jacobs's brand recently launched makeup products and will surely blossom further with the full attention of its founder.