Post-Alexander Wang, Balenciaga clearly has its eye on a vanguardist à la Nicolas Ghesquière, who previously held the post of artistic director, spearheading its progressive revival. The person the house hired is Demna Gvasalia — a name only the fashion cognoscenti would recognize. The news was announced today, not even a week since Wang’s last collection for the house.
Gvasalia — born in Georgia (as in the Causasus) and trained in Antwerp at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts — is the main designer of the four-year-old Paris label Vetements, which, as the name suggests, retains an underground, anonymous aura not unlike Hood By Air in New York. It’s also not unlike Maison Margiela, where Gvasalia spent three years as a senior designer. Following that, he put in time as senior women’s designer at Louis Vuitton, working under both Marc Jacobs and Nicholas Ghesquière — which brings it full circle. Moving to Balenciaga, however, means decamping LVMH for Kering.
Gvasalia’s debut collection for Balenciaga bow in March.