Is Balenciaga the new Gucci? How the fashion house became the hottest luxury brand of 2022

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Balenciaga has had a terrific two years, recently overtaking Gucci as the luxury “it” brand. Both fashion houses now have broad appeal beyond the confines of designer fashion, but in 2022 Balenciaga has been in the news non-stop. Since hitting the mainstream, Balenciaga has been spotted on just about every A-list celebrity and was even jokingly rumored to be the sponsor of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s high-profile divorce. Balenciaga notably teamed up with West (formerly known as Ye) on the release of his highly anticipated Donda album and also collaborated with him on the latest Project GAP X Yeezy.

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Not to mention the brand’s huge presence at the Met Gala last year. Kim Kardashian’s cape and mask look, along with Rihanna’s oversized black coat and matching hat, were the talk of the town at the event. Balenciaga even showed up at a special episode of The simpsons at Paris Fashion Week in October 2021 and created a collection of virtual clothing for the popular game Fortnite, which has certainly helped increase its popularity among Millennials and Gen Z.

So why do we say that Balenciaga is the new Gucci? You don’t just have to take the zeitgeist’s word for it.

The Lyst index for the fourth quarter of 2021 named Balenciaga as the best fashion brand of the quarter, eliminating Gucci from the top spot for the second consecutive quarter. The Balenciaga brand has also been listed as one of the The most influential brands of time in 2022. Then there was the virus Fall 2022 Snow Globe Fashion Show and the long list of brand collaborations with Yeezy X GAP, Crocodileand Gucci’s Hacker Project, which have certainly contributed to its visibility in the mainstream market over the past year.

In 2018, Balenciaga emerged as the fastest growing brand within the Kering group, which notably owns both Gucci and Balenciaga as well as other big names in the luxury fashion industry such as Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen, according to fashion company.

There was a time, just a few years ago, when Gucci reigned as queen of the fashion world. It seemed like everyone from A-list celebrities to your next door neighbor started wearing Gucci Marmont belts, Gucci handbags or something else emblazoned with the brand’s signature designs. However, over the past five or so years, it seems Balenciaga has officially become the new it girl in town, not only popping up all over the celebrity scene, but also leaving its mark on the general populace.

It’s safe to assume that this newfound fame would go to Balenciaga’s creative director and co-founder of Ventements, Demna Gvalia, who took over the helm at Balenciaga in 2015 following Alexander Wang’s exit.

We recently met Wesmore Perriotstylist, image and creative consultant at Defending Champs, and asked him his opinion on the dazzling popularity of Balenciaga.

“Balenciaga has done a great job of reaching young people and evolving as a more futuristic brand,” Perriott explained. “Incorporating collaborations with Gucci and global artists into their fashion domain has helped the brand stay relevant as a luxury fashion house.”

Perriott notes that her own sense of style “has always involved Balenciaga” and explains that “Demna’s androgynous silhouettes and cuts” have played a huge role in the brand’s popularity.

Demna is also exceptionally daring for a fashion designer. After Demna protested the war in Ukraine at the infamous Snow Globe Parade, The New York Times style section noted that Demna has gone “where fashion hasn’t dared to go before”. The temperature also named it “the show of the season”, and it definitely was.

One of Balenciaga’s most popular releases was actually a collaboration with Gucci, donned The Hacker Project. The fusion, which features an ingenious pairing of Gucci and Balenciaga silhouettes, textiles and patterns, offers the best of both worlds for fans of the brands, allowing shoppers to wear each of the fashion houses’ most iconic insignia in one piece. .

These stunning hybrid pieces have been spotted all over the media and social sphere, worn by the who’s who of entertainment and fashion, including Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, to name a few. Balenciaga’s website offers more information about the joint project, explaining: “The Hacker Project presents pieces that fuse the codes of Balenciaga and Gucci House and, in doing so, explore and challenge ideas of authenticity, counterfeiting and appropriation within the fashion industry.

As for the sequel to Balenciaga — the Paris-based fashion house is is set to unveil its spring 2023 collection in New York on May 21, according to our colleagues from WWD. Recently leaked photos also a preview of an upcoming collaboration with Adidas, further proof that the brand continues to build its appeal to younger shoppers.

At this rate, Balenciaga shows no signs of stopping its bid for global fashion dominance. With increasing visibility and household name status, this has certainly pushed Gucci into a supporting role.

Buy: Balenciaga Boutique Summer 22

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