François-Henri Pinault, President and CEO of PPR, which owns Balenciaga, sat down for a lengthy Q & A session with CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis yesterday at the French Consulate in Paris. They discussed many things, like the “fiscal cliff,” ecommerce, the American market, and of course, the decision to install Alexander Wang at Balenciaga–which is all we’re interested in.
We weren’t there, but WWD was, and helpfully excerpted the most salient bits.
The most interesting nugget to come out of the interview was the mention of couture at Balenciaga.
“[Alexander Wang] has a very strong talent not only when it comes to accessible product, but his talent could also be adapted for couture at Balenciaga,” Pinault said. “It will be a big challenge for him.”
We’re sure there will be some groans about the suggestion that Wang, more known for contemporary, slouchy street wear, might be the one to bring couture to Balenciaga. Under Nicolas Ghesquière’s creative direction, Balenciaga’s ready-to-wear often looked couture-like. But Pinault would remind us: We haven’t seen what Wang can do.
“[T]he only thing people can look at is what has been done in the Alexander Wang brand,” Pinault said. “It has nothing do with what we are going to do with Balenciaga. You cannot judge from that. It’s a new challenge. It’s a new adventure for him. He has a great talent. I am pretty sure that we will demonstrate it. We did that with Nicolas when we started in 1997.”