It’s been announced that Alexander Wang will replace Nicolas Ghesquèire as the new creative director for Balenciaga. The immediate online reaction from the public has been largely positive but fashion bloggers and critics have been less than gushy. Style blogger Susie Lau called it simply as “an astute business decision more than anything else.” (@susiebubble)
To me Wang is the king of street wear. His perfect T-shirts are a coveted wardrobe staple and he’s known for refining the “off-duty model look”—how to look effortlessly chic while pounding the pavement.
As a social media savvy New Yorker, he’s a great choice if Balenciaga is looking to become more commercially viable. He has a strong almost cult-like following of adoring fans who recognize the French and 90s grunge influences in his designs and impeccable tailoring when they see it. And with stores stationed in London, New York and Beijing, his designs have truly gone global. His knack for knowing what Asian consumers want doesn’t hurt either.
But I’m curious to see how the fashion house will mesh with the 28-year-old’s design aesthetic which, if I had to describe in three words, would be… edgy, modern, and androgynous. If they’re planning on doing a major brand overhaul, it can work incredibly well. If not, it’ll be interesting to see how closely Wang will work with Balenciaga’s original designs.
Under Ghesquière, a more avante garde designer, Balenciaga’s interpretation of the ideal female silhouette as a figure with a petite waist and strong shoulder was upheld. In comparison Wang’s designs are decidedly androgynous, favoring clean lines over sculptural pieces, moody neutrals over bold colors. But as an amazingly skilled tailor and someone who always rises to the occasion I’m sure he’ll do just fine in his new position. A few years back when Wang’s 2008 fall collection was criticized for its emphasis on dark color choices he retaliated with an uber colorful spring line, saying: “They wanted color, they got color!” (Style)
Do you think Alexander Wang is a good fit for Balenciaga?
[Image via alexanderwang.com]