marc jacobs

The last couple years have seemed like an extremely unstable time to be a fashion designer–the musical chairs involved the lion’s share of major houses in Paris including Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain, Chloe. Continuing right along with the trend, now comes Louis Vuitton: after 16 years, the brand and creative director Marc Jacobs are parting ways.

Jacobs, once the rumored front runner for the Dior gig, is leaving to focus on an eventual public offering for his New York-based namesake brand. It sounds like the split is very amicable, per WWD:

LVMH chairman and ceo Bernard Arnault, together with Jacobs and his long-time business partner Robert Duffy, confirmed the developments to WWD following months of speculation.

The applause that rang out this morning from the vast tent in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre signaled the end of Jacobs’ tenure as creative director for the storied French house and the official beginning of Jacobs’ IPO preparation. The offering should occur within the next three years. WWD first reported on June 10 LVMH’s interest in taking Marc Jacobs public.

As WWD notes, Jacobs managed to take Vuitton from a stuffy (“stodgy”) leather goods company to a legitimate fashion juggernaut, with the help of his art collaborations, jaw-dropping runway shows and his own formidable talent as a designer.

The current front runner for his replacement? None other than the great Nicolas Ghesquière.

(via WWD)