In his recent interview with WWD, Balenciaga's creative director Demna Gvasalia was speaking about the lockdown and how it would change the future of the brand and the fashion industry in general. The designer admitted that during the self-isolation, he passed through many transformations, both personal (Gvasalia lost 8 kilograms!) and professional.
Living in the countryside near Zurich, the designer overcame the evident desire to spend all day long in pajamas and started to dress up "like a bit of weirdo" to have fun. Such a game suddenly helped him come to an important conclusion. "Fashion was helping me to go through this period as well…So this playfulness of fashion came back to me. I realized there is a place for fashion, even in this period," Gvasalia said.
Even when the place for fashion was found again, one question was still hanging heavy in the air – how can it be developed in this changing world? Like many other designers, Demna Gvasalia considers it essential and necessary to focus on the quality of the things produced, but not on their quantity. That is why Balenciaga's creative director is going to get new rules. According to WWC, Gvasalia plans to abandon his recent storytelling approach to refocus on clothes; ramp up the use of sustainable fabrics; pivot future collection reveals toward Balenciaga clients, and not only industry elites; employ a variety of formats to unveil his various collections, with a digital approach for the upcoming Paris Fashion Week in October. Talking about the fashion shows, Demna also stressed that industry representatives should not dwell on the usual runaway-format.
"I think fashion shows have become too much of a comfort zone," he said. "It's a little bit too easy. And like, I don't believe in easy solutions being the best necessarily. And I also don't believe that fashion should function within the comfort zone. The comfort zone is where we stagnate. And given that fashion has to keep engaging people. I realized there are many other ways."
"There are other concepts that we can introduce, without them becoming the rule. Every season I would like to create a new experience with every output, meaning four times a year," Demna Gvasalia shared his ideas. "Each of these times I want to be either memorable or touching or evoking some kind of emotion — something that stays in people's minds."
Among other things, the designer intends to release a couture collection for both women and men once a year without a defined season. "I think men came to the point that they want to wear couture as well, and I know that we have some customers that will love that," he explained. "I want to kind of erase the gender identification of couture being only for women, or only for older women who have money to afford it."
Gvasalia believes that Haute Couture can change the fashion industry. "Couture represents freedom of creativity and freedom in fashion. And that's maybe the reason why I wanted to do it so badly," he confessed. "I believe strongly that couture actually may save fashion, in its modern way.… It can actually become the driving force of fashion again, because you're free from the constraints of industrial production."