Alexander Wang‘s appointment at Balenciaga has been divisive, and, quite honestly, he was an odd choice for the job. A grungy young New York designer taking over a storied French house seems strange, but while the brand’s CEO, Karl Lagerfeld, Grace Coddington, and more have weighed in on the matter, Wang has remained relatively silent about his new high-profile gig — until now, that is.
In a piece for the newly-renamed International Herald Tribune, Wang tells writer Suzy Menkes that the job is pretty much a dream come true. “My first reaction was: ‘I am so occupied, I give 110 percent to my brand,’” he said, three days after showing his boxing-inspired fall 2013 collection (with touches of Cristóbal Balenciaga for good measure). “Then I thought of elevating my team and being given a chance to do all those things I had at the back of my mind. I am doing something quite different from what I do here.”
Although the former Vogue intern was obviously talking about the clothes, he was also referring to his plan for a different kind of runway show. Instead of putting on a traditional (and costly) runway this season, he’ll be doing two salon-style presentations at Paris’ Avenue George V — one for photographers and another for editors and guests.
Throughout her piece, Menkes drops little factoids about Wang being Asian relating to the talk that the designer’s background might have something to do with the new job. While Wang doesn’t come right out and deny the allegations, he does refute reports that he speaks fluent Mandarin and that his family worked in garment production. He can pretty much only say “a bowl of rice, please!”, and tells Menkes: “It’s a false background. My family had no experience in garment production and there was no master plan to quit school in my second year.”
Alright, it’s settled then — Wang’s Asian-ness, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with his being at Balenciaga. Carry on, people.