Nicolas Ghesquière is leaving Balenciaga.

The fashion label’s parent company PPR has released a statement confirming the acclaimed designer is leaving his position. It has been claimed the decision was a joint one.

“[Balenciaga and Nicolas Ghesquière have made the] joint decision to end their working relationship as of 30 November 2012,” PPR Chairman François-Henri Pinault said.

“Cristóbal Balenciaga was a master, a genius whose avant-garde vision dictated fashion’s greatest trends and inspired generations of designers. With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house.”

The creative director of the company has been with the label since 1997. He is widely regarded as one of the most talented designers in the business, with many claiming he helped catapult the label into the big league.

His departure comes as a surprise as his collections received some of the highest praise each season, with his recent Spring/Summer 13 line lauded by critics.

At the moment there is no news on what Nicolas will do next or who might step into his shoes at Balenciaga. -COVER MEDIA