Thanks to creative director Demna, luxury powerhouse Balenciaga is not only reflecting the cultural zeitgeist, it’s also driving it. The Georgian designer, who stopped using his last name, Gvasalia, professionally in 2021, showed the fashion house’s first couture collection in 50 years, and broke convention by producing virtual Fortnite apparel and a real-life Simpsons collection. Demna’s disruptive approach to design—by turns tongue-in-cheek and abrasive—has shaken up the fashion industry, attracted influential devotees and collaborators like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (who enlisted Demna to collaborate on his Donda shows and a Yeezy Gap x Balenciaga project), and resulted in revenue to the tune of nearly $2 billion. Demna’s recent show in Paris—which took place just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and featured models trudging through snow with large bags—demonstrated the former Georgian refugee’s ability to quickly synthesize and respond to world events through fashion.
A weekly newsletter featuring conversations with the world’s top CEOs, managers, and founders. Join the Leadership Brief
- TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2022
- I Tested Positive for COVID-19 Right Before the Holidays. What Should I Do?
- Column: How To Create a Sense of Belonging In a Divided America
- How to Survive the Holidays if You're a Scrooge
- Life Expectancy Provides Evidence of How Far Black Americans Have Come
- The 10 Best Albums of 2022
- Iran Has a Long History of Protest and Activism
- 6 Ways to Give Better Gifts—Based on Science