Wednesday, 5 December 2012


PPR has officially announced that beloved New York designer Alexander Wang is the new creative director of legendary Spanish label, Balenciaga (now owned by the French multinational company PPR). Wang will continue to run his namesake collection in addition to being responsible for Balenciaga’s ready-to-wear for both men and women as well as for accessories and brand image.

Nicholas Ghesquière shocked the fashion world when he announced his departure from Balenciaga earlier this November after his successful 15 year reign. After weeks of speculation in the fashion industry, this decision is sure to be a controversial one. Upon announcement Wang said, “I am deeply honored to embark on this new role for a brand and house that I have such great admiration and respect for.”

Wang will continue with his brand after taking up his position at Balenciaga. "He's a designer with an American sensibility, making modern clothes," says fashion blogger and journalist Melanie Rickey. "I think he'll put Balenciaga into more stores, and give it a better price point."

Wang is the first American designer to take up a role in a major Parisian house since Marc Jacobs became Louis Vuitton's creative director in 1997. Unlike Jacobs – or indeed Ghesquière – the San Francisco-born designer doesn't have a dusty name to revive and make relevant for a new generation. Indeed, stepping into the shoes of such a storied designer as Ghesquière – who some argue is the biggest talent of his generation – may be harder. "It's a double legacy," says Harriet Quick, the editorial director of Lux Up, the luxury members' site that works with Balenciaga. "What is Wang going to bring to that DNA? It's a massive task."

Quick believes he may be up to it, however. "He's an extremely hard worker and very driven," she says. "He's got commercial business savvy married with a strong point of view. That's the cocktail you want now." Isabelle Guichot, chief executive of the brand, said it was proud to welcome Wang, and praised his "proven talent, modernity and individual and cosmopolitan vision of design." Wang responded: "I am deeply honoured to embark on this new role for a brand and a house that I have such great admiration and respect for."

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