Balenciaga does not require Plan B

The Asian debut of the Balenciaga family has come to an end at the Pudong Art Museum in Shanghai. An unexpected heavy rain caused an unexpected deviation in the discussion direction of the entire show on social media – another direct confrontation between high-end fashion narrative and public interest points.

Like many brands that came to China to hold shows, Balenciaga also laid a lot of cultural elements that can resonate with local consumers before and after the show, including but not limited to the limited time supply of black truffle Xiaolongbao in Nanxiang Mantou store, black T-shirts co branded with Alipay, and special door cards of Daxiu cooperation hotels.

From a fashion perspective, the 2025 early spring collection is undoubtedly a dramatic reaffirmation of the values of the Balenciaga brand by Demna, as well as an inward exploration of his personal aesthetic design style. All the cultural elements mentioned earlier are a tribute to the Chinese market by the brand, but without these elements, it would not have affected the integrity of this show and its full display of the creative director’s personal will.

Demna has at least two distinct stages in the design of the Balenciaga family. Taking the controversial advertising incident that occurred in the brand in 2022 as a turning point, his expertise in dramatic fashion deconstruction had once garnered a group of enthusiastic fans for the brand; Afterwards, he began to return to the origin of fashion, treating every piece of his work with a “more mature and serious” perspective.

In an interview with Vogue Runway, Demna stated that this series is a “completely instinctive” creation, “I brought a new balance to the Balenciaga family through this show, which is reflected in the perfect integration of my personal aesthetic at all levels.”

In fact, Demna is one of the few designers in today’s fashion industry who possesses the ability to self examine and critique (not only industry and society, but also self criticism). Because her worldview and values are broad and diverse enough, she can effectively absorb many challenging voices, which has also made her a truly “growth oriented” designer.

So at least in the world of haute couture, Balenciaga does not need the Plan B mocked online. This heavy rain and all the guests who stood firm in the rain are important components of the show, but it is unknown whether the teasing of Chinese netizens will bring him new inspiration.

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