After much speculation Balenciaga announced that new Artistic Director will be Demna Gvasalia,founder and head designer of Vetements.
Demna Gvasalia,new Artistic Director for Balenciaga
On the 7th of October in Paris, a few days after Alexander Wang showed his last collection for the brand, François-Henri Pinault, president and CEO of Kering which owns Balenciaga, introduced the new Artistic Director, Demna Gvasalia.
Demna Gvasalia, a 34-year-old Georgian designer is best known as the founder and head designer of Vetements, a group of seven, mostly anonymous, designers based in Paris. Vetements specialise in urban and streetwear clothes with a bit of a twist. The brand takes ordinary garments and re-energises them, cropping jeans, deconstructing t-shirts and oversizing jackets,just as a starter.
Gvasalia has been designing first for Martin Margiela, where he met other Vetements designers, and then worked as a head designer for Louis Vuitton. In 2014, he stepped out to set up his own label.
News about signing Gvasalia as artistic director for iconic Parisian house came as a surprise but was met with mainly positive reactions.
“I don’t know [him], but it’s going to shake up the system and I think that’s quite healthy. It’s so unexpected. I think it’s quite healthy to think out of the box.” says Virginie Mouzat, editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair France for BoF.
Parisian house Balenciaga was founded in 1919 by Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, and from the very beginning was famous for its feminine and elegant clothes. Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy are just some of the designers that started their career at Balenciaga. Even though their clothes were popular the house was suddenly closed by Balenciaga in 1968.
The house remained closed until 1986, and it seemed like no one could bring back the old reputation. In 1997, Balenciaga surprised everyone by hiring 25-year-old Nicolas Ghesquière as artistic director where he resided for the next 15 years and managed to turn Balenciaga into an international powerhouse brand. In 2012 Balenciaga surprised everyone again when Ghesquière quit and his post was taken over by Alexander Wang, previously known for his successful androgynous, sporty, monochromatic label Alexander Wang.
Following speculation earlier this year, it has since been confirmed that Alexander Wang will leave the house to concentrate on his own label.
Speaking about their decision to hire Gvasalia, Isabell Guichot, Balenciaga president and CEO says, “We really wanted somebody that has a vision, and someone capable of reshuffling the cards.”
Gvasalia will continue to work for Vetements and his first collection for Balenciaga will be presented at Paris Fashion Week in March 2016.