VetementsAt Balenciaga, the seat vacated by Alexander Wang was still warm but the venerable fashion house did not waste a single moment announcing the appointment of Demna Gvasalia as its new Artistic Director.

According to the announcement released today by the House of Balenciaga and its parent company Kering (formerly PPR), Demna Gvasalia will take creative responsibility for the brand’s collections and the image of the maison effectively immediately. He will present his first collection for the brand at the women’s ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2016-17 show in Paris.

The 34 year-old German national of Georgian origin Demna Gvasalia graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. Earning rapid recognition and awards from the industry, he launched his first collection at Tokyo Fashion Week in 2007.

In 2009, Demna Gvasalia joined Maison Martin Margiela, where he was responsible for women’s collections until 2013. He was then appointed senior designer of women’s ready-to-wear collections at Louis Vuitton, before launching the brand, VETEMENTS. VETEMENTS’ first women’s ready-to-wear collection was presented at Paris Fashion Week in 2014.

In the press announcement, Isabelle Guichot, president and CEO of Balenciaga praised Gvasalia for “his mastery of techniques, his expertise and fashion knowledge” and called him “as the best choice for the new artistic direction of the maison.”

In the same announcement, François-Henri Pinault, president and CEO of Kering called Gvasalia as “a powerful emerging force in today’s creative world.”

Alongside his new role as artistic director of Balenciaga’s collections, Demna Gvasalia will continue to fulfill his responsibilities for the VETEMENTS brand.

Photo courtesy of ANDAM