Rumors were circulating Tuesday, based on a report in French business magazine Challenges, that Balenciaga was suing its former creative director Nicolas Ghesquière over negative comments he made about the company in an interview with new magazine System.
Turns out the rumors were true. According to WWD, a hearing is expected in September or October at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in France for Balenciaga's case against Ghesquière.
The court did not reveal the specific details of the case, but the trade reports that it is "understood" that it is over Ghesquière's comments in the System interview--which was the first interview he did after his surprise departure from Balenciaga.
And yes, Balenciaga can do this. Apparently, in France, a company can seek damages when an employee or former employee "besmirches or potentially imperils" them, despite freedom of expression.
Presumably, Ghesquière was unaware of this. In the interview, he repeatedly criticized both Balenciaga and Kering, saying that working there was “one frustration after another,” and that “it started becoming a bureaucracy and gradually became more corporate, until it was no longer even linked to fashion.” He also said that he “began to feel as though [he] was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal [his] identity while trying to homogenise things.”
Not exactly praise for Balenciaga or Kering, then PPR.
Rumors that Ghesquière is to succeed Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton remain unconfirmed. But it would be interesting to see him working for LVMH while engaged in a lawsuit against its arch rival.
Those involved have so far declined to comment, but we will of course report back if we hear anything more.