Finally, those rumours have been confirmed. Alexander Wang is, in fact, leaving his position as creative director at Balenciaga. Although whispers of the news have been circulating for weeks, Kering- the luxury group which owns Balenciaga- confirmed Wang’s departure on Friday. This means that Balenciaga’s SS16 collection, due to be shown in Paris in October, will be Wang’s last for the French fashion house.
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WWD has reported that a search for Wang’s successor is already underway, but a new creative director has not yet been chosen. As soon as he leaves the brand, Wang will be concentrating all his efforts on his own eponymous label, a favourite among the model set for off-duty dressing in particular. In a statement released by Kering, Wang said:
‘It’s been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work for this historical maison. I would like to thank the brilliant team at Balenciaga for their collaboration and for what we have accomplished together, and I am looking forward to taking my own brand to its next level of growth.’
Wang has been at the Balenciaga helm for less than three years, having joined the team in December 2012, replacing Nicolas Ghesquière when he moved to Louis Vuitton. During this time, Wang designed a new handbag for the brand called Le Dix, which has been carried by the likes of Rihanna and Amal Clooney, and recruited Gisele Bündchen, Kate Moss and Lara Stone (among others) to star in Balenciaga’s campaigns. As for the collections themselves, they have featured on many a red carpet, with fans from Sienna Miller to Emilia Clarke to Carey Mulligan and Kim Kardashian regularly wearing Wang’s Balenciaga designs.
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We can’t wait to see who will take the role when Wang leaves. Will it be a big name, or will Balenciaga take note from Gucci and hire a lesser known designer? All we can say is watch this space.