Balenciaga is expected to announce New York-based designer Alexander Wang will be appointed as its new creative director.Wang, who is best-known for his streetwear aesthetic, would make for a more mainstream creative after Nicolas Ghesquiere, who gave the French house intelligent and geometric collections, favouring constructivist fashion over commercial, affordable and even diluted style.
The house of Balenciaga has a plan, however. It would not tap a New York designer most famous for his sporty t-shirts if it was not intending to the push the label into a new direction.
Balenciaga, who's parent label is PPR, has kept Balenciaga as one of its niche brands in comparison to the commercially luxe Gucci or Stella McCartney. The potential of the brand has enormous growth possibilities, and previously there was perhaps a disconnect with what was presented on the runway and what was available in boutiques and its distribution channels.
So if Balenciaga is moving from high fashion to a more contemporary realm, who better to appoint than Wang, who understands that marketing, streetwear and having the right girls on the runway are precisely what his customers want and keep buying season after season.
Whilst Ghesquiere's last collection for the House will hit shelves in January, it was lauded by the media as one of the best shows of Paris Fashion Week, and indeed the entire season. Ghesquiere on the other hand as not announced any forthcoming projects and it is widely hoped he will secure backing to launch his own label.
With so many new appointments at the major houses in the past few months, it has become clear the success of a brand is not solely based on who is its creative leader. The brand will live on while designers can be replaced or fired leaving the company in tact.