Balenciaga will announce next week that Alexander Wang is taking over as their creative director, according to WWD. This report echoes assertions made yesterday by the Times' Cathy Horyn and French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur that Wang was the top contender to replace Nicolas Ghesquière, who officially exits the house today. All three outlets have cited unnamed sources, and neither Balenciaga nor Wang have confirmed the appointment.
Wang has been considered for major design jobs before (you might recall when his name was tossed around for Dior — memories!), but this will be his first job outside of his eponymous label, which he founded in 2005 after dropping out of Parsons. Needless to say, helming a PPR-owned, Paris-based fashion house will be a huge leap for him; naysayers will cite a lack of experience, as he's never demonstrated the range or couturelike craftsmanship that made Ghesquière so beloved by critics and consumers alike. Best known for T-shirts, shoes, and handbags, Wang's brand has been very commercially successful, but it's still a far cry from Balenciaga's business, which currently operates 62 stores worldwide.