Wang...out! After a month of speculation, Alexander Wang is officially leaving Balenciaga, according to Women's Wear Daily. While both sides had previously only commented that contract negotiations were taking place, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Wang would be bouncing after three years with the fashion house.
Fashion insiders and fans of the brand and the designer have had plenty of time to prepare for this breakup. Frankly, I was not surprised by it, as they were never fashion soul mates, IMO.
According to WWD, the formal statement read: "Balenciaga and Alexander Wang today announce their joint decision not to renew their contract beyond its initial term." Wang will wrap his tenure with the October 2 show during Paris Fashion Week.
His replacement has yet to be named. But that's a whole other fashion story in the making, since the post vacated by Wang is certainly coveted.
For his part, Wang suggested that his focus would narrow to his eponymous brand, which has brought him tons of acclaim. He gushed about his Balenciaga experience and said in his statement, according to WWD, "It's been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work for this historical maison."
His statement continued, "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."
This week's rumors about the Wang x Balenciaga divorce had indicated that Wang's interest in growing his namesake brand may have been a source of conflict. He was also said to be seeking investment. His own brand is possibly where his truest passion lies, and I can't say I blame him.
The house did praise Wang for his efforts while serving as creative director, and said in their statement: "With his proven talent and his irreverent, modern vision of design, Alexander Wang has brought a new impetus to the brand. Balenciaga and Kering would like to thank Alexander Wang for his accomplishments and wish him the very best with his eponymous brand as well as all his future endeavors."
Balenciaga President and Chief Executive Officer Isabelle Guichot paid tribute to the company's growth under Wang's creative hand and stated, according to WWD, "We are all at Balenciaga extremely grateful to Alexander for his important contribution to the style and history of this iconic house. The dynamic growth of the brand over the last years bears testimony to his successful creative work."
Both sides are totally surging with positivity for one another, which might make you wonder, Why split then?
But this is the professional way to sever ties. It's clean and simple.
As for Wang, I think he should get laser-like in his focus on his own brand. His love of black, architectural shapes, and street chic, coupled with the fact celebs from Rihanna to Lady Gaga back him, are all the artillery he will need. The Alexander Wang brand will do just fine, and Balenciaga has a chance to make a splash with his replacement.
It's a win-win, because gorgeous clothes and accessories, even if experimental, will be the result.
Images: Getty (5)