It is Official: Alexander Wang is out at Balenciaga

Balenciaga and Alexander Wang announced this morning that they have come to a joint decision not to renew their contract beyond its initial term. Alexander Wang will show his final collection for Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear on October 2, 2015 in Paris and a new Creative Director for the brand will be announced in due course.

Alexander Wang has stood at the creative helm of the maison since 2012 and according to a statement from Kering, Balenciaga’s parent company, “has been instrumental in the pursuit of its development. With his proven talent and his irreverent, modern vision of design, Alexander Wang has brought a new impetus to the brand.” 

Commenting on the announcement, Alexander Wang said: “It’s been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work for this historical maison. I would like to thank the brilliant team at Balenciaga for their collaboration and for what we have accomplished together, and I am looking forward to taking my own brand to its next level of growth.”

Per WWD, the search for Wang’s successor is in its early stages. The trade publication writes: “According to one Paris source, Kering is open to considering a lesser-known, hidden talent for the plum post, emboldened by the positive feedback and outpouring of goodwill it had in promoting Gucci insider Alessandro Michele to succeed Frida Giannini at the helm of the Italian brand earlier this year. That could make the guessing game of ‘who’s next’ a more complicated enterprise.”

Separately, sources said Wang has been quietly seeking an investor for his privately held namesake brand, and may feel tugged between responsibilities at both businesses, as reported.

Wang’s exit at Balenciaga comes as a new executive takes over as CEO of Kering’s luxury couture and leather goods emerging brands, which include Balenciaga as well as Brioni, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney and Tomas Maier. Kering on Monday named former Unilever executive Grita Loebsack to the post, effective Sept. 14. The ceos of the six companies in the emerging brands group will now report to Loebsack.