Through an exploration of Balenciaga’s collections both before and after the hiring of Alexander Wang as the company’s Creative Director, in addition to an analysis of Balenciaga’s company history and goals, this research will prove that Alexander Wang, though seen as a young and innovative designer, was hired by the fashion house to uphold and strengthen rather than alter Balenciaga’s already founded stability. Introduction Balenciaga is a well know fashion house which was founded by the Basque designer, Christobal Balenciaga in 1914.
The fashion house was well known for its famous elegant dresses and its well fashioned ultra modern dresses. The Balenciaga fashion house has grown over the years with branches all over Spain. The company is now owned by the famous French company PPR which has its headquarters in Paris, France. Most designers who have worked for the Balenciaga fashion house have moved on to open their own fashion houses. The Balenciaga Fashion house has had many creative designers since its foundation. The most notable ones being: Josephus Thimister, the Dutch designer who helped steer the company to greater heights in the fashion world in 1992.
This was during the summer Olympics where the Balenciaga fashion house was mandated with designing the French’s team clothes. Recently, Balenciaga Fashion house hired a new creative designer Alexander Wang to lead its designing section. Alexander Wang is a well known fashion designer from New York. He was born in 1983 in California and is famous for his “Urban Designs” that include men and women ware. In 2008, Alexander Wang received the CFDA/Vogue fashion fund which boosted his fashion career. Impressive performance record
This move by the management to replace Nicolas Ghesquiere, has been seen as a major milestone in the Balenciaga history considering Alexander Wang’s track record . Most people consider Alexander Wang as being just a mere T-Shirt designer but his presentation on Thursday the 28th of February silenced his critics for a while. His rise to be a world class fashion designer has however not been without challenges. In March 5th 2012, Alexander Wang was facing a lawsuit for running a fashion house in Chinatown, Manhattan where there was an allegation that He was oppressing his workers and subjecting them to poor working conditions.
The lawsuit was later dismissed following a settlement talk between the accuser and the accused. Alexander Wang was selected among many shortlisted candidates for the position of lead creative designer for the Balenciaga fashion house owing to his impressive performance and great designs. Balenciaga fashion house chose on Alexander Wang to succeed Nicholas Ghesquiere because they wanted a creative designer who would uphold the great reputation of the company and also steer it forward so as to reduce its competition.
His “Urban designs” helped seclude him from the rest of the group because the company felt that Alexander Wang would bring a sense of urban sensibility in the company and thus increase their sales and a diversified collection of clothes. Alexander Wang is best known for his easy interpretation of street designs and transforming them into a magnificent piece of art . He is also well known for his great work with athletic jerseys. The athletic industry is a great market for jerseys since most teams require new attires every season or during a major event.
Good Networking Skills Balenciaga thought that by hiring Alexander Wang, their sports market would greatly increase. Alexander Wang has many connections in China and other parts of the country and this is another added advantage for the company. Alexander Wang’s ability to speak Mandarin is also an added advantage in his line of work owing to the large Chinese Market and other Far East market. Alexander Wang being of Asian origin is best suited to deal with the Asian market because he understands what native Chinese prefer.
His experience in Chinatown, Manhattan increased his ability to combine native Chinese clothing with the new school designs thus producing a great design. Hiring a person with his own fashion line and outlet stores seemed like the best option for Balenciaga fashion house since maybe later in his career, Alexander Wang would merge his business with the Balenciaga Fashion house and thus further expand his business . This move by the Balenciaga management to hire Alexander Wang, a young designer with a huge youthful following would mean a change in direction of the famous fashion house.
New designs in the market will attract new customers from within and out of the country. Alexander Wang has attracted Hollywood celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Rihanna into his fashion house. According to the Balenciaga management, a well known fashion house needs to re-examine its structure and make the necessary changes to make it more appealing to the market . This statement meant hiring the best designer in the fashion industry with good networking and management skills.
For Alexander Wang, moving to Paris meant expanding his career into the European market and thus this was also a major milestone in his life and he could not turn down the job offer. Hiring Mr. Alexander Wang into the Balenciaga fashion house was a smart move because Alexander Wang knows how to pick new models and to turn them into world-class models. His street experience in New York was seen as an advantage for the Paris based fashion house because New York is a world business hub with people from around the world and thus his experience in New York would help increase and introduce new street designs in Paris.
His manufacturing experience was also put into consideration during the selection of Nicolas Ghesquiere’s successor. Balenciaga fashion house clearly needed new designs and also a totally new direction in the fashion industry and thus went on to hire Mr. Alexander Wang to fulfill this decision. Mr. Wang’s designs which include knitwear’s, short dresses, shorts and sweatshirts are seen as one of the best street designs in the world and the Balenciaga management wanted to include this in their clothing line with Alexander Wang was to spearhead this project.
According to the chief executive officer of Balenciaga fashion house, Francois-Henri Pinault, hiring a young American designer into the Paris based fashion house would completely change the face of Balenciaga clothing line. He described Mr. Alexander Wang as a young fashion designer who has built a successful business empire with his commercially appealing designs . He further acknowledges Mr. Wang’s ability to create and manage his own fashion design company despite his young age.
In a recent interview after Alexander Wang as chose as the lead creative designer for Balenciaga Fashion House, Henri Pinault explained that the company needed a new focus on a cult of personality. He further explained that they chose Mr. Wang because was his ability to create great designs based on his own lifestyle . He also explained that hiring Alexander Wang was a daring choice because he had not worked for any label before apart from himself. Considering that most fashion designers start in a fashion house before proceeding to create their own clothing lines, for Mr. Wang, it was the complete opposite.
This did not however taint his image on the eyes of his employers but instead beat the odds to secure the job. Handling Pressure Alexander Wang has had many challenging times in his fashion design career. When he was facing a lawsuit from his own employees, he managed to handle the situation well and to ensure that his reputation and that of his company was not tainted. This is seen as a good quality for a person in his position and proves his ability to handle pressure with the utmost cool.
During his first show after his appointment to the position of lead creative designer in the Balenciaga fashion house, Alexander Wang portrayed his fashion design capabilities by dressing Kristen McMenamy, a model with his famous fall collection. In a backstage interview, Alexander Wang reiterated that he hoped to cinematically portray his debut efforts and dedication in his work during the event . In the event labeled, Balenciaga Is No Gisele with a Mullet, Alexander Wang said that he intended to combine the artistic work of former lead creative designer with his mix of street design.
His work clearly indicated that Balenciaga management had hired the best designer for their new intentions. This day being one of his most important days in his career life, Alexander Wang displayed calmness throughout the whole event despite a few challenges. The successful event clearly indicated that Alexander Wang could work under extreme conditions and still come up with an elegant design. Alexander Wang also indicated his ability to come up with new ideas and implement them to suit the atmosphere of the event. This included changing the usual font of the Balenciaga fashion house.
The background of the runway stage also exhibited his ability to adjust the situations to fit the current events. He described the show as being a cinematic portrayal and with the use of famous models such as Jennifer Connelly. Many people who visited the event described it as being visually compelling and a great start for the fashion designer. The event which was attended by stars and other famous persons was a good start for the young designer in his career life in Paris. His ability to please the judges and the management was an exhibition which said a lot about the young designer.