According to rumors that have been swirling for a day or two from a “reliable” source, Alexander Wang may be the next head honcho at Balenciaga.
Ever since Nicolas Ghesquière unexpectedly stepped down as creative director, a void was left for another designer to fill. While initial reports pointed to Christopher Kane as the new creative director, a representative from his camp quickly debunked that rumor. Balenciaga CEO Isabelle Guichot said that she had a short list of potential candidates, which was rumored to include Christopher Kane, Joseph Altuzarra, Bouchra Jarrar, J.W. Anderson, and Alexander Wang, among others.
Alexander Wang is said to be the frontrunner, but we aren’t sure how well this will work out for Balenciaga or what will become of Wang’s own super successful brand. As a CFDA winner and accomplished designer, we’re sure Alexander is up to the task at hand, but we aren’t 100 percent convinced he’s perfect to lead a company like Balenciaga.
On one hand, you have the Balenciaga that has recently been catering to an edgier crowd with bold graphics and a variety of textiles that an already cutting edge Alexander Wang may be able to transition into smoothly. On the other hand, Balenciaga is not just for that customer. It’s not just for the man or woman who wants to stand out in the crowd. There are still some elegant and subtle pieces for Balenciaga’s core customer that are drastically different from the Alexander Wang aesthetic.
Of that short list that CEO Isabelle Guichot put out, we can understand why Christopher Kane was originally said to be the frontrunner. What he has done for his line, as well as Versus for Versace, has been almost parallel with the direction Balenciaga was moving in.
Some other standouts we think may be amazing as replacements for Nicolas Ghesquière include Oliver Rousteing of Balmain, who is currently making clothing that could definitely fit into the Balenciaga legacy and be marketed to its core customer. Unlike Balenciaga, Balmain takes more risks with their customer, but know how to scale it back.
Christopher Bailey, who currently sits at the head of Burberry as Creative Director, may not be perfect for Balenciaga, but he deals with different aesthetics by overseeing so many divisions of Burberry. He might be the best person for keeping Balenciaga going in the same direction.
Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy knows all about edge. His t-shirt designs for the last three seasons may be a little much for the average Balenciaga consumer, but if he were able to scale back a little, he would still be a great fit for Balenciaga.
Chances are that whomever Isabelle Guichot picks for the new position at Balenciaga will be great. If Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang could co-direct the brand it might be perfect! We can dream…
Until everything is finalized we can’t totally congratulate anyone, but for now, Alexander Wang has our well wishes.