Fashion Cheat Sheet

Nicolas Ghesquière Speaks About His Balenciaga Departure; Alber Elbaz Backs Hedi Slimane

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Nicolas Ghesquière Breaks His Silence: Former Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière is finally addressing why he left his post at the helm of the storied brand. In an interview with System magazine, Ghesquière reveals that his departure was primarily caused by creative differences between himself and the label's management. "It all became so dehumanised," Ghesquière said. "Everything became an asset for the brand, trying to make it ever more corporate – it was all about branding. I don’t have anything against that; actually, the thing that I’m most proud of is that Balenciaga has become a big financial entity and will continue to exist. But I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore." Ghesquière also hinted that other designers in similar situations may soon jump ship as well: “What’s interesting is how my split from Balenciaga has encouraged people to get in touch with me, and they’ve said, ‘Me too, I’m in the same situation. I want to leave too.’” [Business of Fashion]

Alber Elbaz Backs Hedi Slimane: Many of fashion's biggest players have voiced their frustration with Hedi Slimane’s new creative direction at Saint Laurent, but at the British Vogue festival this past weekend, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz had the final word: “Hedi is a very, very, very talented designer,” Elbaz said in conversation with Browns's CEO Simon Burstein, according to The Cut. “It's not that I say that because I know him, but I know his work, and both of us worked at Saint Laurent at the same time. I think he's a very, very talented guy, and we just have to give him time to really build a story.” [The Cut]

The Pinaults Donate Sculptures to China: The Pinault family, owners of fashion conglomerate Kering (formerly known as PPR), has donated two rare Chinese sculptures to China, reports WWD. The sculptures (a rat and rabbit bronze fountainhead) reportedly date back to the Qing dynasty and were once the property of Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent. Bergé controversially sold the pieces in 2009 for €373.5 million (roughly $484.6 million), a time which prompted some to rally for the statues to be returned to China. [WWD]

Bangladesh Clothing Factory Owner Arrested: Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of the Bangladeshi clothing factory that suddenly collapsed on Wednesday, killing an estimated 382 people, has been arrested by the police. Rana was captured while attempting to escape to India and could face up to seven years in prison for “charges of negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work.” [AP]

Moda Operandi’s Met Gala Announcement: Luxury e-tailer Moda Operandi, the sponsor of this year’s MET Gala and corresponding Costume Institute exhibit, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, is launching a shop-the-red-carpet initiative. Customers can order some of the red carpet's best looks the day after the Met Gala, which is next Monday, May 6. [Fashion Beast Inbox]