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PARIS — Lauding his “proven talent, modernity and individual and cosmopolitan vision of design,” the chief executive officer of Balenciaga has named Alexander Wang the brand’s new creative director, effective today.
Isabelle Guichot added that Wang would “embrace and enrich the unique heritage of the fashion house.”
Wang’s appointment confirms a report in WWD on Friday, Nov. 30, and marks a new chapter for Balenciaga, founded in 1919 and controlled since 2001 by luxury-and-sporting-goods conglomerate PPR.
“I am deeply honored to embark on this new role for a brand and house that I have such great admiration and respect for,” said Wang, who will also continue at the creative helm of his independently owned fashion house, established in 2005.
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Commenting on the development, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR, described Balenciaga as an “extraordinary fashion house” with “inexhaustible potential” and a “priceless heritage.
“Alexander Wang will use his creativity and his own research to reinterpret and immortalize the distinctive, modern and extremely innovative style imposed by Cristóbal Balenciaga,” Pinault added.
Wang succeeds Nicolas Ghesquière, who exited Balenciaga Friday after a stellar 15-year tenure.
The 28-year-old is expected to immediately begin work on Balenciaga’s fall-winter 2013 women’s collection, although Guichot told WWD the format in which it might be unveiled during Paris Fashion Week, scheduled for Feb. 26 to March 3, has yet to be decided.
“I don’t want to put him under unnecessary pressure, so we will have to figure how we want to present. We will figure out together the pace of next year,” Guichot said, noting that the pre-fall women’s collection is already finished and the fall-winter men’s collection also nearing completion. “It’s an important transition for the brand.”