#Balenciaga: Demna Gvasalia is Named Balenciaga’s New Artistic Director

Published: October 8, 2015

#Balenciaga: Demna Gvasalia is Named Balenciaga’s New Artistic Director, Mere days after Alexander Wang showed his final collection with Balenciaga at Paris Fashion Week, the luxe design house has recruited its new leader.

Stepping up to fill Wang’s post is Demna Gvasalia, founder and chief designer of the up-and-coming French label, Vêtements. The 34-year-old designer has already attracted major star power with his unorthodox sartorial view point, and boasts celeb fans including the likes of Kanye West and Jared Leto. And while the fashion crowd may already be acquainted with Gvasalia, his name is still unfamiliar in the mainstream. Here’s what you need to know about the new Balenciaga mastermind:

1. Trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp, the Georgian-born designer has already scored a few other high profile fashion gigs in his career, serving as a senior designer for Maison Martin Margiela for three years before moving to Louis Vuitton in 2012.

2. In 2014, he launched Vêtements (which translates as “clothes”) along with several anonymous designers. (Note: The other designers have remained unnamed due to contractual conflicts with other fashion brands). The label has quickly emerged as the new off-the-grid, “cool kid” brand in Paris, and prides itself in refreshingly simple silhouettes. Though this line is a collaborative effort, Gvasalia operates as head designer.

3. For his work with Vêtements, Gvasalia and his anonymous crew were nominated for LVMH’s second annual Prize for Young Fashion Designers this year. The label made it to the final round, but was ultimately beat out by London-based designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida.

4. Gvasalia isn’t afraid of an unconventional runway. As an unconventional brand, Vêtements has shown four collections in several out-of-the-box locations under Gvasalia’s direction. During this past fall 2015 season, the label showed in the basement of Paris’ famed Le Depot gay club, and just this past week, Gvasalia turned a Chinese restaurant into high fashion stage.

5. Although Gvasalia is taking on a huge workload with Balenciaga, he’s not abandoning Vêtements. He’ll show both his first collection with Balenciaga and also his latest Vêtements’ designs this March during the fall 2016 season.

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