New York's Wang named designer at Paris' Balenciaga

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NEW YORK — Young downtown designer Alexander Wang is taking over the creative direction of storied Paris fashion house Balenciaga.

The company made the announcement today that 28-year-old Wang would fill the spot vacated last month by Nicolas Ghesquiere, who left after a 15-year run there.

Balenciaga’s history began with the Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, a contemporary of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, showing his first collections in Paris in 1937. He died in 1972.

The house didn’t fully regain its footing until Ghesquiere took over in 1997 and brought critical acclaim and pop-star fans such as Beyonce and Rihanna.

Wang has a similar celebrity appeal, and he’s a favorite with fashion editors and the models who wear his cool-girl, sporty styles.

Wang will continue his New York-based signature collection.

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