Le Nouvel Observateur (a reputable source, according to The Cut) is reporting that Christopher Kane, a rumored front-runner for the job, has been named the new creative director of Balenciaga, effective December 1.
Neither Balenciaga's parent company PPR nor Kane's PR has confirmed the report.
Of all the names put forth as possible successors to Ghesquière--Alexander Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, Natacha Ramsay--Kane seemed like the best and most logical choice. He's the designer to watch out of London, constantly putting out fresh, directional critically acclaimed collections. He's proven that he can balance designing his own line along with designing Versus at Versace--a more commercial, corporate environment. Tellingly, when I caught up with Kane at the opening of the new Versace store in SoHo a few weeks ago, I asked him how he balances designing his eponymous collection with Versus and he replied simply "You just get on with it. It's just time management. It's as simple as that, you just need to do it." And that's a good attitude to have in going to fill Ghesquière's very big shoes at Balenciaga.
Still, while Kane's philosophy may just be to "get on with it," it's doubtful he can carry on designing three different lines. So another game of musical chairs will likely play out again at Versus.
Update: Elle France is reporting that they've heard back from Balenciaga and the house would not confirm that Christopher Kane has been named Ghesquière's replacement. Via the Cut, Elle is reporting that no successor has been named and won't be for the next two or three weeks--which doesn't take Kane out of the running.
Update 2: We just heard back from Balenciaga and they simply said "We don't comment on rumors." So. We're left to wonder again.
Update 3!: WWD is now reporting that Christpoher Kane has denied the move. A spokeperson for Kane told the trade. "Rumors surrounding Christopher Kane's appointment as creative director of Balenciaga are unfounded."