Update: It’s official! Alexander Wang has been confirmed as the creative director of Balenciaga. The label issued a statement today, with Wang stating, “I am deeply honored to embark on this new role for a brand and house that I have such great admiration and respect for.” Meanwhile, Balenciaga President and CEO Isabelle Guichot said, “The Balenciaga fashion house and its staff are proud to welcome Alexander Wang, whose proven talent, modernity and individual and cosmopolitan vision of design will naturally embrace and enrich the unique heritage of this fashion house which will soon be one hundred years old.” Oh, and just in case you were concerned, he will continue designing his eponymous line without any changes.
To refresh your memory: Ghesquiére announced he’d be leaving the label two weeks ago after 15 years at the helm, prompting a flurry of replacement rumors with designer Christopher Kane‘s name emerging at the top, following his departure from Versus. Kane went so far as to release a statement branding the hearsay “unfounded,” but thoughts of a Kane-Balenciaga matchup were still pretty fresh in fashion folks’ heads.
The latest news: Like any speculative story worth its salt, a twist came in scoop form by New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, who last night reported that a Paris source “with knowledge of the discussions” said Wang indeed is the leading candidate to replace Ghesquiere, with an official announcement potentially coming as early as the end of the week. (Considering it’s already Thursday, chop chop, we say).
What this means for fashion (and you!): If the rumors are in fact valid, it’ll be interesting to see how Wang’s ultra-commercial downtown-cool aesthetic will translate at Balenciaga, a label founded in 1914 and is steeped in heritage. One things’ for sure: Wang’s designs—namely his shoes and bags—are in high demand, so creating similar items for Balenciaga at a much higher price point would probably be a win for PPR, the parent company that own both Wang and Balenciaga.