The rumors have finally been confirmed: Nicolas Ghesquiere, formerly of Balenciaga, will replace Marc Jacobs as the creative head behind Louis Vuitton’s women’s division, according to an announcement made by the brand on its official Twitter account this morning. Women’s Wear Daily reports that the first collection in Ghesquiere’s tenure at Vuitton will be the Fall 2014 show in March.

Ghesquiere’s long-speculated-upon appointment is the latest move in Vuitton’s plan to position itself for upmarket customers who have grown weary of its signature monogram canvas. At Balenciaga, Ghesquiere built a reputation on forward-thinking design and innovative textiles and construction, skills which offer the kind of considered, value-based exclusivity that the most wealthy clients have come to expect from their fashion purchases. A slick veneer isn’t going to be enough to remake a brand whose image is as entrenched in luxury consumers’ minds as Vuitton’s, and Ghesquiere offers much more on an artistic level than simply a buzzworthy name.

Nicolas Ghesquiere did fantastic things at Balenciaga, which is a big brand, but nothing compared to the financial clout and industry position of LV. At Vuitton, he’ll have nearly unlimited resources at his disposal for design and fabrication, and with LVMH looking very serious about increasing the brand’s cachet, he’ll likely be encouraged to exploit them with abandon. For a designer with a proven track-record for creating hysteria-worthy handbags, the results have the potential to be nothing short of groundbreaking. Get ready for a whole new Louis Vuitton.

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