Balenciaga officials had no comment on Thursday. Wang officials did not respond to a request for comment.
A designer in the sleek-and-modern fashion mold of Ghesquière, but with a streetwise edge and a tinge of Goth, Wang has become one the brightest stars of the American fashion scene with his groovy T-shirts, studded handbags and high-impact fashion shows.
He is also admired for his commercial savvy, having rapidly built a sizable business with manufacturing muscle and a global footprint.
The choice of Wang suggests Balenciaga might wish to dial down the elitist, couture-like approach of Ghesquière, and open up to a broader audience with a designer prized for his sportswear approach and youthful energy.
“Although we are an American brand, I think that is more to the sense of what is American sportswear, and things that feel very accessible and easy to wear,” Wang said in an interview earlier this year. “But at the same time we really see our audience and our consumer as a global citizen, someone who isn’t defined by where they live or what kind of music they listen to, things like that. It’s a sensibility that is much more individual.”