Following rumors which first emerged in June, Reuters reports that Marc Jacobs may be likely to step down from Louis Vuitton when his contract expires next month. One unnamed source told the news agency that the designer's “contract may not be renewed," while a separate source says, "nothing has been decided yet."
Reuters notes that another publication, the French international business magazine Challenges, has already confirmed Jacobs' departure.
A preview from the article in Challenges is available online:
The title, roughly translated, reads: "Marc Jacobs' departure from Vuitton is official."
And the text: "The artistic director of Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Marc Jacobs, will leave his position. The schedule will be finalized when Delphine Arnault, the general director of Louis Vuitton, finds a successor. The designer Nicolas Ghesquière is in the lead, though other candidates are still being considered."
Even if Jacobs leaves Louis Vuitton, where he's been installed as creative director since 1997, the designer will still be closely tied to the brand's holding company, LVMH. The luxury conglomerate holds a 96% stake in his eponymous brand and full control over Sephora, the exclusive distributor for Marc Jacobs' recently launched beauty line. When rumors about the designer's departure from Vuitton first emerged in June, WWD speculated that Jacobs would also try to negotiate independence for his proprietary brand so he could take it public. No new details about the American designer's future plans have emerged.
On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton revealed that accessories designer Darren Spaziani was joining the house and spearheading a new line of ultra high-end leather goods. The announcement followed earlier reports that, following a period of aggressive expansion and booming growth, Louis Vuitton was seeing lagging sales in China, where demand has shifted to more understated brands like Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent.
[Marc Jacobs’ Future at Louis Vuitton in Doubt — Reuters]