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Balenciaga Has Finally Announced a Replacement for Alexander Wang

With Alexander Wang’s final Balenciaga collection showing at Paris Fashion just last week, we knew there would be an announcement coming soon. Today, the brand announced it’s new artist director, Demna Gvasalia. 

The 34-year-old designer attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, at which he earned many awards and recognition from the industry. Gvasalia launched his first collection in 2007 at Tokyo Fashion Week and was later tapped by Maison Martin Margiela to head its women’s collections from 2009 until 2013. He was later appointed senior designer of Louis Vuitton’s women’s ready-to-wear collections before launching his own label, Vetements, at Paris Fashion Week in 2014. Needless to say, his resume is impressive.

“At Balenciaga, he fills the post left vacant by Alexander Wang, an American who founded his own contemporary label and who had been creative director at Balenciaga for less than three years when he announced in August that he was leaving,” reports The New York Times. While he might have some big designer shoes to fill, it seems the industry is already embracing his talent. 

“I am very pleased to welcome Demna Gvasalia as the artistic director of Balenciaga’s collections,” Isabelle Guichot, president and CEO of Balenciaga said in a statement released by Kering. “He has quickly emerged as the best choice for the new artistic direction of the maison. With his mastery of techniques, his expertise and fashion knowledge, in conjunction with his innovative and carefully considered approach, Demna Gvasalia adopts a unique vision of the designer’s role today and thus recalls Cristobal Balenciaga’s own vision. I am confident that he will succeed in embracing Balenciaga’s core values and developing them in harmony with today’s global changes.”

As for Gvasalia’s aesthetic? “I’m driven by making clothes both wearable and financially accessible, fashion that has a place in the real world,” he said to The New York Times a day before the announcement went down. “I am looking forward to further [expand] the DNA of the house and, together with the team, to write a new chapter in its history,” he relayed to WWD in an exclusive interview. 

And while Alexander Wang “found it difficult to balance the demands of his own brand with that of Balenciaga,” Gvasalia has no plans to leave his own label. “I’ve already started working on next season for Vetements. This is a label and a project that I am committed to for a lifetime.”

We’re excited to see what’s in store for both Demna Gvasalia and Balenciaga next season. 

[via Kering/The New York Times/WWD]