After Balenciaga announced their now-enacted split from Alexander Wang and search for a new creative director, fashion followers everywhere have been left in suspense. But the wait is over! Demna Gvasalia, founder of the Vêtements brand, has been announced as the new creative director of Balenciaga, coming to be Alexander Wang’s successor. Gvasalia offers an urban, underground outlook, and Isabelle Guichot, CEO of Balenciaga, stands by the decision.
Last week we were dazzled by Wang’s final runway show for the House, which focused on a single color and lingerie-style clothes, while Wang’s best friends including Zoë Kravitz walked for the show. It was a spectacular farewell to the House, and we expect a similar spectacular debut show from Gvasalia to be unveiled next February.
“We really wanted somebody that has a vision, and someone capable of reshuffling the cards,” Guichot said in an interview with WWD. It seems Balenciaga is having a bit of a midlife crisis, experimenting with a variety of new designers and not sticking to one design aesthetic. The brand is continuously looking to find new ways to market their label. It has worked in their favor until this point, so as long as they keep making sound decisions on their designers, there doesn’t seem to be a downhill spiral in sight.
“I was really amazed by his ability to develop an approach to the brand that was really new and that was really his own,” the CEO continued. She voiced her feelings on his design aesthetic, clearly pleased with his eye for modern fashion, and excited to see what he can do for the brand.
Demna Gvasalia launched his label for the 2014 fall season, and since then has displayed his generous use of color and pattern. This is a leap for Balenciaga, coming from Alexander Wang who has a more subtle approach with color. We’re sure to be in for a treat, but it’s still up in the air as to if Balenciaga can maintain their house aesthetic with the “sleeping around” they’ve been doing with designers.
There’s no telling to how Gvasalia will settle into his new role, since there’s bound to be a bit of a culture shock. With founding his own underground brand, he explored his personal design aesthetic, and found his niche in the fashion industry, but now he has jumped to a leading position in a long established brand, with a prestigious name in the industry.
We’ll have to wait for the unveiling of the first runway show under Demna Gvasalia’s design order to see just how well he settles into his new, larger role. And then past that we’ll be waiting for the following show, to see how things transform as he spends more time with the brand.
So for the next few seasons there will be a lot of waiting for fashion followers, but we here at Fashionisers will be sure to keep a close eye out for any sneak peeks into future lines, and will be around to offer our insight with each line that comes into creation.
Photo courtesy of Vogue