Alexander Wang for Balenciaga
For five years now Alexander Wang (28) has kicked off almost every single fashion season as one of the first designers to show during New York Fashion Week. Since 2007 the young designer has managed to generate raving reviews and created a solid international fanbase of people crazy for his sportswear inspired, edge creations. Wang has high profile fans all around the world; from Rihanna to Olivia Palermo and12 own stores even though the fashion house is still a family business.
And while the success of this young label continues to grow, Wang is taking on another challenge at Balenciaga (and will travel between New York and Paris to do so). As the new creative director of the Parisian fashion house Wang will follow in the footsteps of Nicolas Ghesquière, who left the house last month after 15 years. A new designer potentially means the start of a new Balenciaga era.
With Wang on board the French label might be able to reach a wider audience, create more selling points and perhaps even better price points. And maybe Balenciaga, which has been high end and exclusive (even the number of catwalk photographers allowed at shows was extremely limited) since it was founded by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1937, could use a bit of Wang’s American commercialism. Even though the label did very well with Ghesquière as it’s designer.
There’s no doubt Wang will do a great job as Ghesquière’s successor. But, what can we expect?
The sporty elements and the mixing of materials will stay, no doubt about that. Wang, who is already going through Balenciaga’s archives, might start experimenting with more colors and prints, something he never really did for his own (very black-oriented) label. We might start to see more of Balenciaga’s heritage brought back to live. Clothing may become more approachable once Wang’s extraordinary streetwise twist is added. And perhaps the thirties fashion house will get a modern touch up (even though this winter’s out of the blue galaxy prints were pretty futuristic) in order to reach a global audience.
Yet the CEO of Balenciaga’s parent company PPR, François-Henri Pinault, already stated not a whole lot is going to change: “The challenge taken by Alexander, which I really liked in discussions with him, is for him to express his talent in a different situation for another brand with its own DNA, and he’s absolutely excited with that.”
One thing’s for certain; his first autumn/winter 2013/2014 shake up is going to be a good one. And we can’t wait to take a sip from this Balenciaga-Wang cocktail.
Let’s take a look back on some of Wang’s most outstanding designs in the gallery below.