More Balenciaga Designer News: Christopher Kane Leaves Versus

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THIRD UPDATE: Who does't love a little (more) designer, musical-chairs speculation? WWD reports today that French company Pinault Printemps Redoute, of Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney fame, have set their sights on the U.K. (ditto!). Among PPR's list of British design houses that they may soon represent is Christopher Kane, a possible Nicolas Ghesquiere replacement for the coveted spot at Balenciaga. Some may see this news as just another business deal, however WWD points out that Balenciaga itself happens to be PPR-represented company. Kane, Balenciaga, PPR, new business...is this all a coincidence? Alas, while we try to piece together this puzzle, the recent replacement rumors remain just that: Rumors. Cue Adele. (WWD)

SECOND UPDATE: Okay, someone may need to draw us a diagram or a flowchart, because keeping track of sources, changes, and innuendo is getting quite tricky. First, news broke Christopher Kane was taking over Ghesquière's post at Balenciaga. Then Balenciaga and Kane's people denied he had been confirmed. (The exact quote his rep gave WWD: "Rumours surrounding Christopher Kane's appointment as creative director of Balenciaga are unfounded.") While this certainly doesn't mean he is in, it staunched the flow of rumors suggesting the appointment is finalized.

Then, this morning, to add to the whirlwind of speculation, Kane announced he was leaving his position at Versus, Donatella Versace's younger line, reportedly due to the fact that the label is ceasing production on seasonal collections and is shifting directions.

Does this mean Kane is getting ready to take over at Balenciaga, or is he really refocusing on his eponymous line? Things that make you go hmmm... (WWD)

UPDATE: Sorry folks, Christopher Kane has not been confirmed as the new creative director at Balenciaga. The brand has not made a selection yet but will announce their choice in the next two or three weeks, according to Elle.fr. That said, it will still probably be Kane, just no official word yet. (The Cut)

The fashion world was decently shocked when celebrated designer Nicolas Ghesquière seemed to suddenly just up and leave his post at Balenciaga, the Spanish label he helped revive. Rumors of hurt feelings and perceived offenses circulated — most prevalently, some suggested that Ghesquière was upset over the freedom Yves Saint Laurent gave newly-minted Hedi Slimane, latitude which the more seasoned Ghesquière doesn't have.

Yet, it appears that — lo and behold — the search for a successor has ended, and The Cut is reporting that Christopher Kane will be joining the house. The Cut cites reputable French publication Nouvel Observateur for the news, even though there has been no official confirmation from Balenciaga either way.

Even more importantly, what will Donatella Versace think? Does this mean the end of her and Kane's younger, more punk venture, Versus? Kane cannot possibly helm Balenciaga and Versus and keep his own line afloat, à la Marc Jacobs and Vuitton... After the cough-syrup-and-candy-coated showing of Versus' most recent show, the closure of the line would indeed be a bummer. Kane and Versace have a weirdly amazing thing going — probably the reason why Balenciaga is poaching him. (The Cut/Fashionista)

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Photo: Via Balenciaga