When Balenciaga took on Demna Gvasalia from Vetements, it was no doubt a surprise. The underground label was well known for its subversive low-key nature, going against many of the mainstream conceptions of fashion, such as eschewing the traditional runway for unglamorous locales. Yet, Vetements has gained steam among celebrities such as Kanye West and Rihanna, and it seems that this slow trajectory of underground momentum was what attracted Balenciaga to take a risk on Gvasalia. Now, Balenciaga will be staging their first ever menswear collection for Spring 2017 with Gvasalia at the helm for Paris Fashion Week in June.
In a comment to WWD, Balenciaga chief executive officer and president Isabelle Guichot noted, after they took on Gvasalia in place of Alexander Wang, that they were looking for “somebody that has a vision and [is] capable of reshuffling the cards”. Certainly, now seems to be the good season for spinning things around, with the whole list of designers being shuffled out of various top brands in what seems to be widely known as the industry’s variant of musical chairs. Perhaps Balenciaga is betting hopes on another kind of Hedi Slimane to push things to further heights.
Vetements’ aesthetic is also known for its gender fluid lines and androgyny. All that makes for anticipation of a very interesting menswear show come June.