Who takes over at Versus if Christopher Kane goes to Balenciaga?
Ever since Nicolas Ghesquiere announced his departure from Balenciaga, fashion has been abuzz with guessing games and gossip about who’s going to follow in his footsteps. Last Friday a couple of French newspapers were eager to confirm that Christopher Kane – everyone’s top bet for the position – was indeed taking over as Balenciaga’s next creative director. And while the rumours have been denied by Kane’s PRs so far, it seems there could be some truth to them. If so, Kane will suddenly find himself with three designer positions on his hands.
Next to Balenciaga’s annual four womenswear collections (main and pre-collections) and two menswear collections, he’ll still have to design four collections a year for his eponymous London-based label, and two annual collections for Versace’s diffusion line, Versus, the women’s side of which he’s currently overseeing. For a 30-year-old designer, it seems rather a lot. Obviously there’s no way Kane will abandon his own label, which – with the help of his sister Tammy and loyal supporter Donatella Versace – saw him rise to fame as London Fashion Week’s biggest name.
If he cuts down on his workload, it’ll most like be Versus that gets de-Kane-ified. This, of course, opens the doors to yet another round of frantic whispers from the fashion crowd: who will take over at Versus? When it comes to young designers, Donatella Versace is one of the most informed doyennes in the world. Her very backing of Kane – which has been an ongoing thing since before he graduated from Central Saint Martins – is the very result of how much attention Donatella pays to emerging talent, and especially the London crowd.
Since Riccardo Tisci started drawing on Versace trademarks in his work at Givenchy, the Italian house has experienced a renaissance of epic proportions, which has seen a number of London designers paying homage to Versace’s history in their work. So when it comes to picking a new designer for Versus, Donatella’s options are plenty. Take for instance Katie Eary, whose womenswear is fast becoming as popular as the menswear that first catapulted her into fashion fame. Or James Long, another designer whose success in menswear has led to a much talked-about womenswear line.
With their subtle nods the Versace legacy, both designers are viable and excellent candidates for the Versus gig, which now comes with a menswear line, too – albeit one that Christopher Kane doesn’t have anything to do with. If the Balenciaga rumours pan out and Kane is headed for Paris, the musical chairs of fashion are standing by for another round in the name of Versus.
(Images via Imaxtree)