Alexander Wang will leave Balenciaga, the French couture house confirmed this morning. After days and weeks of rumour and speculation about the American designer’s future (or lack of, more specifically) at the brand, a statement to WWD this morning said: “Balenciaga and Alexander Wang today announce their joint decision not to renew their contract beyond its initial term,” adding that the the spring/summer womenswear 2016 show at Paris Fashion Week on October 2 will be Wang’s last.
Wang took the creative helm at Balenciaga in late 2012 after Nicolas Ghesquiere’s move to Louis Vuitton after 15 years. While no reason was given for Wang’s departure after his comparatively short tenure, it has been hinted at that focusing on the success of his eponymous label – which operates from New York, involving transatlantic commutes to and from Balenciaga’s Paris base – has become his priority.
“It’s been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris,” Wang said of his almost three years at Balenciaga. He added, confirming that there was no other brand in his sights: “I am honored 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.”
Balenciaga’s parent company Kering now have the task on their hands of hiring a successor, which is said to be in the early stages, with a lesser-known designer not being ruled out. The luxury conglomerate was keen to express that Wang’s time at the house was not being ended on bad terms.
Chairman and CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, added to Isabelle Guichot’s – Balenciaga’s CEO and President – official statement: ““I join Isabelle and the Balenciaga house in heartfully thanking Alexander for his dedication and unique artistic contribution to the building of Balenciaga in a more globally recognised house. I personally wish him all the best.”
Mikael Jack – Fashion Features Editor