Georgian Demna Gvasalia graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2006. In 2009, Demna Gvasalia joined Maison Martin Margiela, where he was responsible for women’s collections until 2013. He presented Vetements’s first women’s collection at Paris Fashion Week in 2014 and has won plaudits for reworking wardrobe staples such as jeans and sweats. The 2012 appointment of Wang was daring because of his youth and American-streetwear aesthetic, but the designer seemed overly polite and reverential in the role, and the pairing never set the fashion world alight. He has quickly emerged as the best choice for the new artistic direction of the maison. “I am confident that he will succeed in embracing Balenciaga’s core values and developing them in harmony with today’s global changes”.
“With its distinctive and radical style, Balenciaga has influenced several generations of designers and couturiers”, says François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering – the conglomerate that owns Balenciaga. Following confirmation of Alexander’s departure from the brand in August (15), CEO and president Isabelle Guichot wanted to appoint someone who would shake things up. “I am convinced that he will lead Balenciaga to a successful future.”
Alexander’s Balenciaga contract was ended recently, with his Spring Summer 2016 runway show being his last as creative director, a position he held for less than three years. The fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga in Paris in 1937 is known for understated refinement: the soft curve of a cocoon coat, the precision of a bracelet-length sleeve, the cool femininity of a ballerina neckline. The straightforward, no-frills aesthetic of the brand piqued the interest of the industry, but the designers behind Vetements were unknown and referred to as a collective for the longest time.
Balenciaga is Kering’s fourth-biggest fashion label after Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent.