A court hearing date has been set for Balenciaga’s lawsuit against former creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, and WWD has all the juicy details.
For one, Balenciaga’s lawyer confirmed that it was in fact Ghesquière’s comments in an interview with new magazine System that inspired Balenciaga to sue. Ghesquière’s collaborator, stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé, is named in the suit as well.
According to the filing, his comments violated the “separation agreement” that Ghesquière signed on October 17, 2012, which stipulated that he “refrain from declarations that could hurt the image of Balenciaga.”
One of Ghesquière’s quotes mentioned in the suit: “…I began to feel as though I was sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenize things.”
“Balenciaga didn’t want its designer to justify his departure by criticizing the house that employed him,” the court document says. “In general, the parties, knowing the hypersensitivity of the fashion industry to changes in creative direction, were forbidden from commenting on the break in order to avoid any detrimental effect on their economic interests or their image.”
According to the trade, Balenciaga is seeking $9.2 million in damages, as well as “publication of the judgment in a variety of French fashion and business publications.” It’s kind of the public way to make Ghesquière eat his words.
However, while it sounds like a lot, Ghesquière could probably take a $9 million hit pretty easily. In addition to getting paid nearly that much as compensation in 2012 after breaking his employment contracts, he apparently received $42.3 million for the sale of his 10% stake in the company.
The hearing of Ghesquière’s lawyers’ arguments is set for October 15, with a full hearing expected to take place next year.
It’s still unknown what Ghesquière’s next professional move will be, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he waited until the end of his legal battles to embark on it.