This special audio edition of Back Row examines Balenciaga's fascinating PR move.
I enjoyed this discussion! I'd be interested to read the Demna interview and compare it with the interview that Ingrid Sischy did with John Galliano after he was canceled (and that kind of served to rehabilitate him, show that he was contrite, etc.). That was a bit different, I guess, because it was Vanity Fair, not Vogue, and Galliano wasn't designing anywhere so he didn't have a LVHM rep with him. But I also don't really want to read the Demna interview after you guys talked about it!!
About Demna's comments that he never wanted Balenciaga to be about celebrity — like, yeah that's objectively a ridiculous comment to make — HOWEVER, I do think there's something to maybe it wasn't supposed to be about celebrities for him in the beginning, but you know, you get some celebrities paying attention to you and coming to your shows and you start hanging around them and you become seduced by the glamour and fame and then all of a sudden you just want more of it and more of it and you feel validated by it and glamorous yourself. I don't know, I feel like this industry and the proximity to fame and celebrity really does warp people's minds. (This is not an excuse for him, but ... I think this may be what he was trying to say, though he wouldn't say it because it makes him look too weak.)
I still don't understand why they would let Michele at Gucci go but not Demna. I'm not personally a fan of Michele's Gucci, but I can't deny that he's got a very strong vision and POV and that it seemed to resonate with A LOT of customers — why would they want him to go in a different direction?
I actually read something saying that Christian Dior was the first designer to sort of adhere to the concept that every season he must do something different and new and drastically make a totally different statement or silhouette or whatever, and that couturiers like Chanel — who basically never wavered in their sort of LOOK — hated him for it, because it created this crazy expectation.
This comment is all over the place — LOL. I'm out. Love the discussion! You guys have a good rapport.
I really enjoyed this conversation, thanks Amy.
Hi, I haven’t listened to it as I find it more suitable/manageable to read anything than to listen. I guess if audio was going to become a recurring medium, would it be possible to post a transcript too? I always find your posts stimulating & thought-provoking, which is why I’m a paid subscriber 😊Thank you
Really interesting discussion, especially regarding Kering's decision to keep Demna while exiting Michele at Gucci. Balenciaga is like, a sixth the size of Gucci in revenue? The decision is puzzling. Overall, I'm fascinated by the creative director landscape at brands these days. I remember when someone like Tomas Maier, for example, was at Bottega for almost two decades -- today, the idea of someone staying at a house for that length of time is almost unimaginable. The rapid ROI that companies seem to demand from their creative leaders at the moment is almost impossible to meet, and certainly seems unsustainable. Although I guess this is the story of late stage capitalism in general...
Loved this discussion! I just became a paid subscriber and I’m happy I did! I agree with the earlier comment, you two do have a great rapport! More please!