It's been confirmed: Marc Jacobs is leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years at the helm of the French fashion house. The news was confirmed to WWD's Bridget Foley this morning by Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH (the luxury conglomerate which owns the prestige brand), the designer himself and his longtime business partner, Robert Duffy.
Jacobs is stepping down to focus on preparing his eponymous New York City brand to make an initial public offering (IPO). But just because Jacobs is stepping down from his position at Louis Vuitton doesn't mean he's severing his relationship with his former bosses: LVMH owns a 96% stake in Marc Jacobs International and one-third of the trademark.
The development was first confirmed by the French business magazine Challenges on September 21. The publication also reported that Nicolas Ghesquière was the most likely successor, though other candidates were still being considered. Speculation that Jacobs would leave Louis Vuitton emerged in June, when WWD reported on rumors that the designer was being considered for creative director at Coach.