Balenciaga started from a Basque Spanish designer to later become owned by French multinational company PPR, and now it is ready to make a large splash with Alexander Wang. Wang, an Asian-American,is set to be named the new creative director of the fashion house. Many see the hiring of Wang as suggesting Balenciaga might wish to dial down the elitist, couture-like approach of Ghesquière [the former Creative Director], and open up to a broader audience with a designer prized for his sportswear approach and youthful energy. Not yet 30, Wang has made a name in the fashion world with a fashion sense that suggests a bit of Goth and street edge to what Ghesquière is known for already. Because of his background and outlook on life, fashion and culture, allowing him to take the reins does imply that the brand is looking to a younger and growing demographic. Wang was already quoted earlier this year saying this about his own successful [and global] brand:
“Although we are an American brand, I think that is more to the sense of what is American sportswear, and things that feel very accessible and easy to wear,” Wang said in an interview earlier this year. “But at the same time we really see our audience and our consumer as a global citizen, someone who isn’t defined by where they live or what kind of music they listen to, things like that. It’s a sensibility that is much more individual.”
Of his Chinese lineage, he said: “In a way, I know there’s an audience that connects with me. How I identify that or what I pinpoint that to, whether it’s because of my background or because I connect with people of my generation in New York or London — that, I don’t know how to explain or quantify.”
Check out the article by WWD to learn more. Do you think it’s a good idea for the Balenciaga to shake up things with Wang as the creative director? Will helping Balenciaga expand more globally, help or hinder Wang’s own global growth with his brand? Is the blurring of demographic lines contributing to fashion having more global trends than just regional ones? Are there more blurring of these lines because more people from various backgrounds are influencing fashion together? Just some things to think about. Let us know what you think.