Fashion News: Alexander Wang + Balenciaga
Many of you know, or at least recognize, Balenciaga handbags. You've probably seen your favorite celebrities from Lauren Conrad to the Kardashian girls in a Balenciaga bag.
Balenciaga is more than just handbags - the Ready to Wear pieces that bear Balenciaga's tag on them are amazing but don't receive the same amount of recognition. Today, Alexander Wang was named the new Creative Director for Balenciaga, replacing Nicolas Ghesquiére. What's a creative director? A creative director is the highest position in a fashion house. Contrary to popular belief, a creative director does not actually design the clothes but rather oversees and formulates the concept (or concepts) for a certain season or a certain collection.
To give you a little background on Alexander Wang:
• This will be his first job outside of his eponymous label - founded in 2005 after he dropped out of Parsons.
• His eponymous line was originally started with knitwear.
• He is best known for his handbags and t-shirts & basics (see: T by Alexander Wang)
• He is also known for what people call an "edgy androgynous design aesthetic."
• In 2009, he was the recipient of of the Vouge/CFDA Fashion Fund Award.
• He is currently 28 years old.
Many people who follow the fashion industry right now will say that A. Wang is too young and too inexperienced and that his aesthetic doesn't fit Balenciaga. But let's step back for a second and look at the designer and the fashion house he just landed.
Starting with just the handbags, A. Wang is famous for his Rocco bag, which features studs on the bottom of the bag, as seen here on Mary-Kate Olsen and Kristin Cavallari:
As far as aesthetic goes, there are some similiarities between the bag A. Wang is famous for and the bag that Balenciaga is famous for. Simple but with a bit of an edgy, rocker chic twist.
Next, let's take a look at the Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear collections for both designers:
Although Balenciaga's aesthetic is dressier, the first 8 looks from the spring 2013 shows for both designers features very clean cuts and much attention to detail. I'm sure if the labels were removed from the tops of the looks, many would assume that they were from the same show or from the same designer. Yes, Balenciaga is dressier. But doesn't every design house have contradicting pieces? For the dressier and for the more commercial? If we talk about the business aspect of Balenciaga's desicion, A. Wang is very commercial friendly and appeals to a wider audience that Balenciaga currently does. Balenciaga wants to make their company, brand and product appeal to the masses - think of how Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Marni and Maison Martin Margiela have all collaborated for H&M! It's good publicity and it brings more knowledge to their brand.
And on the topic of how he's so young - everyone in the fashion industry at some point is a baby, for lack of a better word. But these people are the ones that hold a vision that makes them stand out from the rest. There is a reason A. Wang is so successful in what he does. Granted, Marc Jacobs had some experience under his belt by the time he took over Louis Vuitton, no one thought of him as someone that could take over that fashion house. As long as A. Wang keeps the blood of the Balenciaga house line running true to its history, then I think he'll be very successful. Besides, in the fashion industry, if something or someone doesn't work, they figure out a way to fix it quickly.
What do you think? Do you have hope and faith in this young designer?