Tongues are still wagging about Alexander Wang's appointment as the creative director at Balenciaga: Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, and some other powerful industry players have now chimed in on his new job.
Eric Wilson talked with Wintour, von Furstenberg, and a number of other people who have observed Wang's work since his career started. Like Karl Lagerfeld and much of the Twittersphere, many of the people Wilson interviewed wholeheartedly support Wang's move. Below, the rest of the industry reacts to Wang's big news.
Anna Wintour on whether Wang's age is a problem: "Oh, please, come on. How great is it to be young? That is when designers are at their most fearless. That is when you do your most creative work."
Wintour, again, on Wang winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund: "He was so articulate. He said he wants to dress the girls of his age and his generation. That's what you see in everything he does. He lives and breathes the Alex brand."
PPR chief Francois-Henri Pinault, who is similarly unconcerned about Wang's age: When he started at Balenciaga, Ghesquière "was designing uniforms for Air France, and who would have said that Nicolas would become such a great talent?"
Isabelle Guichot, CEO of Balenciaga: "We're not asking him to be an entrepreneur. But luxury fashion is a business with some rules, and he understood that very early in his career, without ever compromising the creativity."
Robert Burke, industry consultant: "There were some feelings after what happened with John Galliano at Dior that the brands were promoting the individual designers too much. Now they're thinking, what is it going to take to keep a brand relevant and alive?"
Diane von Furstenberg on whether Wang is ready for the new job: "It was a coup for Alex, and a coup for American fashion," she said, adding, "he's going to need some mentoring in Paris."
And one designer who chose to remain unnamed, on Wang and other designers like him: "They're not fashion designers. They're fashion curators. They're sitting at a computer copying other peoples' ideas."
Photo: Wintour and Wang in 2010.