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François-Henri Pinault on Alexander Wang


WWD: François-Henri Pinault on Alexander Wang and More

Francois-pinaultCHOOSING ALEXANDER WANG
“We want to continue to build. We decided that with Nicolas [Ghesquière] it was time to separate our path. After 15 years, it was quite a noble decision. We were looking at who could take on the helm for the brand’s creative. The way we do it we really spent time understanding who is, not what is, the brand — the human being. And we wanted to really continue what has been built by Nicolas. Alexander Wang is young and he has a very universal culture. He is American with Chinese roots. His family is based in Shanghai. He has a very strong talent not only when it comes to accessible product, but his talent could also be adapted for couture at Balenciaga. It will be a big challenge for him. I like that he’s young and based in New York, so we will have more exposure of the brand worldwide. Alexander has this wonderful contemporary brand under his own name and this has nothing to do with Balenciaga. We will not change anything in the positioning [of the Balenciaga brand.] We have spent a lot of time determining where the brand is and where we want to stay in terms of being very modern and avant-garde, but still being influenced by the street. Nicolas was one of the best at this.”

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FIRST THINGS FIRST
“This is the first time that such a talent started his career with his own brand and then moved to an existing one in a new segment. This has never been done before. Usually talent starts with a brand then over time they become a little bit frustrated with the brand they are working with because it has constraints and they cannot do whatever they want. Then they feel a very strong attraction to building their own brand. Alexander has already expressed himself with the total feeling of building his own brand. Now he wants this new challenge for himself.”