Alexander Wang: Luxury Takes a Stroll on the Streets

Posted by: Rachel Iwaniec

After excessive rumors, Balenciaga confirmed Alexander Wang’s new title as creative director.  Following the footsteps of Nicolas Ghesquiere, Wang is expected to bring a youthful street edge to the highly detailed designs of the present brand.  In an effort to expand the brand’s reach, Balenciaga believes Wang will be the answer to youthful easier-to-wear designs.

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With only a little over seven years under his belt, Wang has created an empire that embodies the downtown street style.  His designs are meant to convey a sense of ease and nonchalant attitude.  At present, Wang has successfully launched both a full women’s ready to wear and menswear collection in addition to a diffusion like, T by Alexander Wang and a highly in demand accessories collection.  Unable to keep items on the shelves, Wang exhibits a clear understanding of his customers and their needs.

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Recently accumulating 10 stores and counting in China, Balenciaga has its eye on the eastern hemisphere, specifically China and Southeast Asia, for a new crowd of customers.  With more than 40% of China’s demographic expected to be 30 and under by 2020, the brand hopes Wang will serve as the missing link between the two.

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Whatever the reason for Alex’s nomination, this choice suggests a new course for Balenciaga and luxury brands as a whole.  Luxury is no longer about excess, but rather knowing exactly what to give consumers.  With that said, I am excited to see a young designer take the reins of such a fashion power-house.  It might have been forgotten, but it was only three seasons ago that the oh-so luxurious Balmain label nominated Oliver Rousteing as the new creative director at the tender age of 25.  Successfully resuscitating the brand, Rousteing is diligently taking the fashion house in a new, effortless direction.

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Continuously delivering strong and focused collections, Wang is an advocate for experimentation and developing his own fabrics and materials. This sort of passion for discovery is what connects Wang with his predecessor, Ghesquiere.  It is in this light that I believe Mr. Wang has many things up his sleeve and an eye for the details that will be revealed under his new title.

Expect to see a lot more of the street style imbedded in what has been the untouchable luxury.  It will be the attention to detail that will differentiate the immortal luxury brands from the generic run of the mill pieces. We are on pins and needles to see what Wang has in store for Balenciaga next.

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