PARIS — Designer Marc Jacobs is to leave Louis Vuitton to concentrate on his own brand and a future stock exchange flotation, a report said on Wednesday.
The US designer and the chairman of Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH, Bernard Arnault, confirmed the end of his 16-year tenure at the French luxury brand to industry journal Women’s Wear Daily.
The news coincided with Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show on the last day of Paris fashion week.
It follows contract negotiations between Jacobs, 50, whose contract had been due to expire at the end of the year, and Louis Vuitton and LVMH.
It is understood that the initial public offering (IPO), expected within the next three years, will require Jacobs to be fully focused on his own brand in order to ensure the highest possible valuation.
A successor has not been named but Louis Vuitton is understood to have held talks with former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere about succeeding Jacobs as artistic director, sources told WWD earlier.
It credited Jacobs with transforming Louis Vuitton from a “stodgy luggage house to a global fashion presence.”
Frenchman Ghesquiere parted company with Balenciaga in November 2012 following a 15-year tenure.