Alexander Wang and Balenciaga mutually decide to part ways.
By Joshua Langston
While speculation has been circling for a while, it was just confirmed early this morning via press release that Alexander Wang will infact be saying au revoir at Balenciaga.
‘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.’ – Alexander Wang
Image Credit: Photograph: Antonio De Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage
The decision was said to be a mutual decision to not extend his contract, so he can focus on further expanding his own eponymous label. It’s also interesting that Nicholas Ghesquière’s departure was also considered to be mutual at the time in 2012, before Alexander Wang took over and Ghesquière took over at Louis Vuitton from Marc Jacobs.
Balenciaga has seen growth under Wang’s reign at the helm, making it a household name to a completely new demographic. He also brought a few other changes, like most recently opting to use Sam Smith in the FW15 Mens campaign.
‘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.’ – Balenciaga President and Chief Executive Officer Isabelle GuichotPlus who could forget Lady Gaga’s not one but two outfits she wore to the Balenciaga FW15 show, as well as her Balenciaga look at this years Met Gala. He also saw great success with his recent collaboration with H&M last year, which sold out in just few days.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months for both Alexander Wang and Balenciaga. At the time of the release Balenciaga has not appointed a new creative director. I asked a couple of my colleagues who they thought could take over at Balenciaga and there was a definite contrast. Helen Siwak from Retail-Insider/The Closet YVR suggested trying a new up and coming designer and take a risk. This would avoid competing with someone who has their own established label already. I threw out the idea of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez from Proenza Schouler could be a very interesting choice. While Amy Yew suggested Donna Karan, who just left her eponymous label, stating it could be a interesting challenge for her, and how refreshing it could be for the brand to have a female creative director.Alexander Wang’s last collection for Balenciaga will be the Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear on 2 October 2015 in Paris.