After only a three-year marriage, Balenciaga and its creative leader, Alexander Wang, have decided to go their separate ways.
Unconfirmed reports broke earlier in the week that Balenciaga’s parent company, Kering, would not be renewing the designer’s contract. Now the pair have confirmed a “joint decision” not to renew their contract beyond its initial term.
Wang will show his final collection of spring/summer 2016 womenswear on Oct. 2, 2015 in Paris.
“It’s been an incredible experience to work with a couture house in Paris. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work for this historical maison,” Wang said in a statement. “I would like to thank the brilliant team at Balenciaga for their collaboration and for what we have accomplished together, and I am looking forward to taking my own brand to its next level of growth.”
Wang was brought on in 2012 to replace longtime Balenciaga creative leader Nicolas Ghesquière, who exited to join Louis Vuitton.
Kering’s announcement follows a series of executive shakeups at the firm.
The most recent was at Gucci, where Kering appointed new CEO Marco Bizzarri and Creative Director Alessandro Michele within the last year. Kering’s management said during the second-quarter conference call that Gucci was in the midst of brand overhaul that would yield a new code across its products, collections, campaigns and all customer touch points.
Meanwhile, the firm isn’t saying much about its replacement strategy for Wang other than “a new creative director for [Balenciaga] will be announced in due course,” according to the release.
“We are all at Balenciaga extremely grateful to Alexander for his important contribution to the style and history of this iconic house. The dynamic growth of the brand over the last years bears testimony to his successful creative work,” said CEO and President Isabelle Guichot in a statement.
Kering Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault shared Guichot’s positive posturing on Wang’s short time at the fashion house.
“I join Isabelle Guichot and the Balenciaga house in heartfully thanking Alexander for his dedication and unique artistic contribution to the building of Balenciaga into a more globally recognized house. I personally wish him all the best,” Pinault said in a statement.