Big news in the fashion world this morning. French luxury company Louis Vuitton says Marc Jacobs is stepping down as creative director of its flagship brand.
Jacobs, 50, is one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Under his 16-year tenure, Louis Vuitton became the most lucrative fashion house in the world, the Associated Press notes, taking the brand from a luggage house to a global fashion power. He is one of the most exciting and respected designers in the business.
Women's Wear Daily reports that Jacobs is exiting his job to focus on an IPO for the Marc Jacobs brand, which could come some time in the next three years. Speculation had been that Jacobs might go to Coach.
Now, WWD reports today that Nicolas Ghesquière, formerly of Balenciaga, is a frontrunner for Jacobs' job. But Jacobs as well as his business partner Robert Duffy are most certainly exiting Vuitton after nearly two memorable decades, a decision that marks the official start of Jacobs' IPO.
The move to go public follows several similar decisions by high-profile fashion brands, notes WWD. Prada raised $2.14 billion in its initial public offering in June 2011, and Michael Kors followed suit with IPO that raised $944 million.