PPR's Balenciaga loses artistic head Ghesquiere

PARIS Mon Nov 5, 2012 10:06am EST

PARIS Nov 5 (Reuters) - Balenciaga, one of French group PPR's fastest-growing fashion brands, will part ways with its artistic director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, at the end of the month, PPR said on Monday.

Ghesquiere, who is widely credited with the brand's commercial success, has been at its creative helm since 1997. The reasons for his departure were not immediately clear.

"It is a common decision (between Balenciaga and Ghesquiere) and maybe it is also a longing for a new adventure on the part of Nicolas," a spokesman for Balenciaga said.

Founded by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1919, the brand thrived until the late sixties but then lay dormant until Ghesquiere revamped it and started to expand worldwide and significantly develop its leather goods offering after PPR acquired it in 2001. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by James Regan)