Balenciaga taps Alexander Wang

Monday, 03 December 2012
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.

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