“We really wanted…someone capable of reshuffling the cards,” Balenciaga CEO and president Isabelle Guichot told WWD. Considering Gvasalia's interesting moves with Vetements, it's both a surprise, and an understandable choice.
While rumored Alexander Wang successors included Julien Dossena and Bouchra Jarrar (former students of iconic former Balenciaga creative director, and current creative director of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière), the possibility that Sacai's Chitose Abe—an experimental “Child of Comme des Garçons”—would take the reins hints at Balenciaga's interest in trying something new.
But noting Vetement's nomination for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, it's proof that Gvasalia and his team have the ability to create both a cult collection, and a luxury facing product. As the The New York Times pointed out, Vetements combines the “grungy cool kids of Paris” at high-fashion performance. With his most recent fashion show literally taking place inside a dark Chinese restaurant, it's clear that Balenciaga wants a slice of Vetements' tongue-in-cheek qualities for itself.