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Alexander Wang To Balenciaga: Is It A Good Move?


Balenxander Wang? Alexiaga? Regardless, it's official: "Balenciaga will next week name Alexander Wang its new creative director." As a Wang fan, I'm happy but as a fashion fan, I feel unsure. Just last week Christopher Kane was heavily rumoured to take over for Nicholas Ghesquiere and I was more okay with that. After 15 years with Balenciaga, Ghesquiere has left large daunting fashionable shoes to fill. Like me, the fashion industry/people's reaction to the news has been mixed.

Wang's name was one of the first mentioned as a possible replacement for Ghesquiere. It's a sensible choice. His urban cool aesthetic would lend itself well in Balenciaga and both are big on design concepts such as fabric experimentation. Commercially, Alexander Wang is superbly business savy and has grown rapidly into a distinguished brand in a few short years; any brand would benefit in hiring him. Wang's ability to design highly coveted accessories in particular (Rocco/Diego anyone?) is especially beneficial for Balenciaga, who makes a large chunk of their business from bags and shoes. Wang's appointment also makes him the first American to design for a Parisian house in a long time. Wave those stripes and stars.

On the flip side, Wang's background is also a cause for concern. Alexander Wang is capable of creating cheap luxury but can he create true luxury? His collections have been accused of copying from brands like Balenciaga itself; described as 'glorified H&M'; and for being a better stylist than a designer. Having never finished design school (he dropped out of Parsons) Wang's technical ability is surely not in par with a house that is inherently about superb construction. The thing is, design concept without craftsmanship wouldn't be Balenciaga, it'd be Alexander Wang. Furthermore, Wang already designs a mainline and a diffusion line for men's and women's - that's more than 10 collections a year. It's uncertain if he'll have the creative capacity to juggle it all.

photo via fashioniseverywhere

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