Photo: Willy Vanderperre
Following Alexander Wang's departure and intense speculation on who would succeed to him, Balenciaga announced on Wednesday that Demna Gvasalia, one of the designers behind French label Vêtements, has been appointed as the brand's new creative director.
As expected, Balenciaga went for a lesser-known name to take over, hoping to channel some of the energy brought to Gucci when Alessandro Michele joined the company. The move is a major upgrade for Gvasalia, who plans on continuing to work on both Vêtements and Balenciaga.
Get to know him better:
Where does he come from?
Demna Gvasalia is originally from Georgia, an Eastern European country, and received his fashion training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, in Belgium. That's where the likes of Kris Van Assche, Tim Coppens, Dries Van Noten, and Ann Demeulemeester also learned the ropes, so we don't have much to worry about here.
What's on his resume?
Now 34, he's led design teams at Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton, and more recently was the primary designer behind Vêtements, one of hippest new labels on the Parisian fashion scene. Vêtements made headlines last year when Kanye West and Jared Leto wore both spotted on the front row at his show, which was held a Paris gay sex club, Le Dépōt.
What should we expect from him?
A more grungy, androgynous take on fashion, with relaxed, oversized designs blending gender lines, and often unexpected materials. But with the kind of budget that Balenciaga will offer him, we can expect an elevated aesthetic. Gvasalia often uses social media apps to scout his models, so he keeps a finger on the pulse, and as he joins Balenciaga ahead of two major milestones (in 2017, the brand will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and the 80th anniversary of its landmark store on the Avenue George V in Paris), there's plenty of big things to come for the rising designer.