Cristobal Balenciaga was one of the great designers at the Paris Fashion Week. Having died in 1972, he brought into the show some of the most ingenious and different outfits ever seen, and many considered him to be the master when it comes to fashion. Christian Dior called him a maestro, compared with the rest of the industry being musicians, and while Chanel or Dior are much more well known in recent years, Balenciaga has a legacy few have surpassed.
Recently, Alexander Wang was appointed as the new designer for the fashion event and he quickly started raising eyebrows. At 29 year old, he already has the eye for fashion and garment that are straight from the Californian culture of partying and beach going, yet his style also has New York chic that students go for. This is something that is truly reminiscent of Balenciaga era, yet steered by French culture. A strange mix that is working well with the audience.
Wang first started in the industry as the head of PPR, a brand dealing mostly with fashion that follow closely the ideals of Balenciaga. He was hired by Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of PPR and once said his style was like an approachable Balenciaga, which means that it will sell to the public, and not just something that can be placed on a catwalk.
One of his original idea was the Lariat bag, a commercial success that he brainstormed along with designer Ghesquiere. It followed in the Balenciaga tradition yet managed to make it onto the shelves.
Wang has his own label now at the New York Fashion Week and has been transferring his success to France, where he is hoping PPR will make a splash. In the background, Wang talked about the show as the first step in a mission to recreate the story of Balenciaga where he could meet the proper audience to bring his vision forward. He sees the legendary designer as an avant-garde designer able to make it into an everyday outfit.