Alexander Wang, New Creative Director of Balenciaga
Congratulation is in order for 28-year-old Alexander Wang who was appointed creative director of century old fashion house Balenciaga earlier this month.
According to François-Henri Pinault, chairman & CEO of PPR, the French multinational holding company that owns the brand, Wang is the right person at the right time. He said that Wang was chosen to continue the transformation of the venerable brand into modern luxury, similar to the work of former creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, had achieved during his 15 years at the prestigious Paris label.
By now the world has had time to digest the rather shocking news, and as expected, the Internet is flooded with comments from editors, journalists, and the girl next door.
Some view Wang’s appointment as a righteous salute to youth, while others see it as the demise of a developed brand:
“It was a coup for Alex, and a coup for American fashion,” Diane von Furstenberg said. “He’s going to need some mentoring in Paris.”
”Oh, please, come on,” Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, said in reaction to concerns about Wang’s age. “How great is it to be young? That is when designers are at their most fearless. That is when you do your most creative work.”
“Although I haven’t been a fan of some of his collections (he seems to try too hard, in my opinion), my immediate hope is that he sees this as an amazing opportunity and has fun. Be serious and respectful but, above all, surprise us,” New York Times critic, Cathy Horyn, said.
“Mr. Wang has a gigantic learning curve ahead of him — not only will he have to work with a French atelier but he will be responsible for 12 collections of his own (four womens, two mens, plus the same for his diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang), and six mainline collections for Balenciaga (four womens, two mens), plus 14 niche lines (edition, black dress, tricot, silk, pant, T-shirt and leather, all twice a year),” Vanessa Friedman told the Financial Times. “That’s 32 collections a year. 32. Not counting shoes, handbags, jewelry (or swim and lingerie). That’s a lot.”
“Alexander Wang has more than proved his potential,” Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo said. “His vision is always pushing forward, always distinct, modernist and innovative — a perfect fit for the codes of Balenciaga.”
Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus referred to Wang as “a brilliant choice” for the label. “I cannot wait for his first collection,” Downing said.