Balenciaga parent company PPR just announced that Balenciaga and Ghesquière have made the "joint decision to end their working relationship as of 30 November 2012."
In a statement, PPR Chairman François-Henri Pinault said “Cristóbal Balenciaga was a master, a genius whose avant-garde vision dictated fashion’s greatest trends and inspired generations of designers. With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house.”
Ghesquière, 41, has been the creative director of Balenciaga since 1997 (yup, since he was just 26). His collections for the house, including his latest stand out spring 2013 collection shown last month in Paris, were among the best reviewed season after season. His influence was wide reaching--you could see it everywhere from the runways of other designers to the high street.
There's no word yet as to what Ghesquière plans to do next or who will fill his very big shoes at Balenciaga.