Alexander Wang Reportedly Leaving Balenciaga Following Spring 2016 Paris Couture Show
The end of a short but dazzling era in fashion may be upon us. Rumors that fashion darling Alexander Wang is reportedly leaving Balenciaga have been swirling for the past month or so. On Wednesday, WWD reported that the designer will allegedly leave the fashion house with the Spring 2016 Paris Fashion Week show, slated for September 29 through October 7, serving as his swan song. Sigh.
Wang, recently appointed to TIME's most influential list, joined the house in 2012, replacing Nicolas Ghesquière, who held the creative director post for 15 years before bolting for a gig at Louis Vuitton.
Women's Wear Daily spoke to several anonymous sources about Wang's alleged impending exit, although no definitive comment or confirmation has been issued from either side.
A rep for Balenciaga and its parent company Kering told Bustle via email, "The only comment we make is that discussions are underway between Alexander Wang and Balenciaga/Kering regarding the renewal of the designer’s contract." Bustle has reached out to Alexander Wang's camp for comment and has not heard back as of press time.
Rumors of Wang's possible exit began to circulate at the beginning of July. Now, it's being suggested by the WWD report that Kering has elected not to renew the designer's contract. The exact reason why Wang may not be re-upped is not known, although there were rumblings among WWD's anonymous sources that the designer has been looking for an investor for his own namesake brand, which they suggest may have led to a conflict of interest between the two brands.
There was growth and plenty of media attention for the Balenciaga brand when Wang was installed in his post. Wang, known for his love of black and the adoration with which celebs like Rihanna and Lady Gaga look at him, certainly brought a darker vibe to the brand during his tenure.
According to WWD, Kering is allegedly already seeking Wang's replacement. It's indicated that the powers-that-be are not opposed to hiring an unknown to take over the role. Gucci successfully replaced Frida Giannini with Alessandro Michele in that same manner and it's suggested that Balenciaga may look to follow that business model.
On Monday, Kering's CFO would not comment on Wang's status and contract negotiations during a media conference call, according to WWD.
That's pretty much the crux of the rumor.
Here's why I think this would be a wise move for Wang and Balenciaga. Wang is one of the hottest designers working today. He is a critical and cultural darling who has his name dropped in Jay Z songs. The Wang x H&M collabo was an instant hit. His work is street and chic, appealing to both younger and working age consumers. He could revert to focusing solely on his eponymous brand and not miss a fashion beat.
Plus, Balenciaga could go rogue and take a chance on a little known, mining the lesser known corners of fashion world to pluck Wang's successor from obscurity and thus discover the next big thing. That's precisely what keeps fashion exciting.
That said, it all remains to be seen! We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.Images: Getty (5)