Paris: Marc Jacobs has stepped down as the creative designer of Louis Vuitton after 16 years to concentrate on his own label.
Jacobs had been working with LVMH, the owner of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon, and the flamboyant designer now wants to focus on an IPO for his Marc Jacobs brand, reported New York Times from Paris.
Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the luxury conglomerate LVMH, said that the company has come to an agreement with Jacobs and that it plans to take the Marc Jacobs company public possibly within the next three years.
The Marc Jacobs business has been majority owned by LVMH for the last decade, and a public offering was described as a strategy to separate Jacobs business from LVMH without requiring the designer to raise equity or take on other partners.
"When we started together, Marc Jacobs was a tiny little business of around USD 20 million. Now the totality of sales is approaching USD 1 billion. It has been an enormous growth," Arnault said.
Jacobs, 50, and Arnault attended the company's fashion show in Paris on Wednesday morning as the news of Jacobs' departure emerged.
It was clear to guests the moment they walked into the show that it was intended as a statement that it was Jacobs' last.
Inside a large tent built especially for the show was a stage that included several elements from Jacobs' elaborate shows of seasons past -- a functional carousel on one side, a bubbling fountain on the other, as well as escalators, two antique elevators and a large railway station clock. All of it was painted black.
The show was also an exquisite romp through the history of Jacobs' at Vuitton, described by the designer as a tribute "to the showgirl in all of us".
Jacobs was ebullient, but did not comment on his exit, beyond saying, "Farewell? I never say farewell."
The company is now reportedly eyeing former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere for the position.