Less than a week after the legendary fashion house debuted its spring/summer ’16 line in Paris, Balenciaga has made a major change in its designer lineup. This morning, Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia was appointed the new creative/artistic director of the French high fashion brand.
Gvasalia—creator of the relatively new brand Vetements—will be taking over for American designer Alexander Wang, who will be exiting Balenciaga to continue working on his eponymous brand in New York. While the official response is that Wang and Balenciaga parted ways with no ill will, there was reported tension between the designer and the company due to his energy being split between his two brands. Balenciaga’s president Isabelle Guichot made no mention of past troubles in her statement about the shift:
I am very pleased to welcome Demna Gvasalia as the artistic director of Balenciaga’s collections. He has quickly emerged as the best choice for the new artistic direction of the maison. With his mastery of techniques, his expertise and fashion knowledge, in conjunction with his innovative and carefully considered approach, Demna Gvasalia adopts a unique vision of the designer’s role today and thus recalls Cristobal Balenciaga’s own vision. I am confident that he will succeed in embracing Balenciaga’s core values and developing them in harmony with today’s global changes.
Gvasalia’s first collection for the brand will be at the upcoming autumn/winter Paris fashion week. He will be presenting Balenciaga’s ready-to-wear collection for women.