Shocking news broke in the fashion world this week: Alexander Wang is leaving Balenciaga after less than three years in the position. Wang followed the esteemed Nicolas Ghesquière, who spent fifteen years in the position and really changed and revitalized the Balenciaga brand. Ghesquière then began at Louis Vuitton. Wang began in 2012 and the news was a huge surprise to the fashion community then because Wang was only 28 at the time and was known more for his self-named off duty model style brand and people wondered how he would do with the responsibility of the almost 100 year old luxury brand on his shoulders. It was also surprising because he was not only holding the creative director position at Balenciaga, but he was also running his own company at the same time, which is a huge amount of work for one young man. Huge designers such as Zac Posen and Jeremy Scott have done this with Posen also carrying responsibility for the Brooks Brothers brand and Jeremy Scott taking on the Moschino creative director role as well as their own brands.
Balenciaga CEO Isabelle Guichot released a statement last Friday saying “We are all at Balenciaga extremely grateful to Alexander for his important contribution to the style and history of this iconic house. The dynamic growth of the brand over the last years bears testimony to his successful creative work.” It is said that the separation was a “joint separation” and Kering, the French company owner of brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and more huge brands, seemed to separate from Alexander Wang on good terms, with Kering CEO and chairman François-Henri Pinault saying “I personally wish him all the best”. There is no exact reason why, but one can only assume that Wang is leaving to focus on his own Alexander Wang brand based in New York because of his statement in which he said “It’s been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris… I am honored to have had the opportunity to work for this historical maison. I would like to thank the brilliant team at Balenciaga for their collaboration and for what we have accomplished together, and I am looking forward to taking my own brand to its next level of growth.”
And as for who will replace Alexander Wang? Kering said that “a new creative director for the brand will be announced in due course”, but it is being reported that the search is now in its early stages. According to a source, Kering is open to hiring an up and comer or an unknown designer. Whoever it is will follow the large footsteps of Alexander Wang and Wang is sure to impress and succeed with his own brand. With his huge celebrity endorsers/friends and Wang’s emerging presence as a fashion leader, I predict the Alexander Wang brand will become a leading brand in the luxury fashion world in the coming years. Wang’s last Balenciaga show will happen this October in Paris and it will be a can’t miss event as Wang’s three year stint at Balenciaga comes to a close.