Update: A representative for Balenciaga confirmed that Mendes actually wore the spring 2016 collection, in stores now and not designed by Demna Gvasalia, at Sunday's awards show. It makes sense, then, that the suit doesn't look like the rest designer's work for the French house so far.
In fashion, there's no doubt that teens — or better phrased, Cool Teens™ — are the future. Just ask Calvin Klein, which recently hired a Vine star to appear in a denim campaign, or Tommy Hilfiger, which tapped Hailey Baldwin, 19, and Lucky Blue Smith, 17, for a Tommy Jeans ad. Now, Balenciaga seems to be following suit, using Sunday night's 2016 Billboard Music Awards as an opportunity to showcase its upcoming menswear offerings on 17-year-old Shawn Mendes.
According to a tweet from The New York Times's Vanessa Friedman, the Canadian singer-songwriter is giving a sneak peek of Demna Gvasalia's menswear debut for the French fashion house. (A spokesperson for Balenciaga did not immediately respond to our request for comment.) While the show won't take place until June 22 during men's spring 2017 fashion week in Paris, Mendes wore a sleek, architectural black suit with coordinating suede boots on Sunday in Las Vegas. The look is certainly dapper, a far cry from the oversized silhouettes seen in Gvasalia's designs for both Vetements and Balenciaga.
This, of course, begs the question: Will a Mendes-type celebrity (i.e., young, cute and social media-savvy) serve as the quintessential man for Balenciaga's forthcoming menswear reboot? Watch this space.