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Francois-Henri Pinault on Hiring Alexander Wang

Francois-Henri Pinault Says Hiring Alexander Wang Had Nothing to Do With China

Francois-Henri Pinault — CEO of the company that owns Balenciaga — says his newest employee Alexander Wang is exactly what the fashion house needed in a new creative director.

In a Q-and-A with CBS reporter Rebecca Jarvis, Pinault said a combination of Wang's youth, worldview, and talent for design made him the perfect candidate to replace Nicolas Ghesquière.

"Alexander Wang is young and he has a very universal culture," Pinault said. "He has a very strong talent not only when it comes to accessible product, but his talent could also be adapted for couture at Balenciaga. It will be a big challenge for him. I like that he's young and based in New York, so we will have more exposure of the brand worldwide. Alexander has this wonderful contemporary brand under his own name and this has nothing to do with Balenciaga. We will not change anything in the positioning. We have spent a lot of time determining where the brand is and where we want to stay in terms of being very modern and avant-garde, but still being influenced by the street. Nicolas was one of the best at this."

Wang will no doubt have big shoes to fill, but Pinault said his Asian heritage "was not a criteria for recruitment at all. It was really [a matter of] let's find the right talent, the right skills, the right profile for the reality of the brand. . . We plan to continue to build on what has been built by Nicolas. We needed someone who was capable of coping with that."

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