For Spring 2023, the French house introduced its own take of the power suit to Wall Street—complete with masked latex skinsuits
In recent months, the stock market has experienced a torrent of stress-inducing fluctuations, and on Sunday morning, a day in which the market is usually at rest, the opening bell rang. But the suits that occupy the New York Stock Exchange were instead replaced by cultural luminaries, rappers, and a nightlife mayor, as Frank Ocean, Megan Thee Stallion, Chloë Sevigny, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and NYC Mayor Eric Adams made an appearance; Wall Street was booming—not with traders desperate to combat the looming recession, but with Balenciaga.
Creative director Denma is unafraid to lean into modernity, and in his tenure at the house has tapped into distinctly American archetypes: the Kardashians, capitalism, and The Simpsons, to name a few. Wall Street is now the latest American trope to work its way into Balenciaga, with its models wearing subverted versions of power suits and high ponytails squeezed through stiff latex slits set against bright screens tracking glitching market changes.
A play on the monotony of Lower Manhattan’s pencil pushers, masked models in latex second-skin carried briefcases and coffee cups down the runway. Sportswear also dominated the trading floor, as tracksuits, track dresses, and boxing robes that sported either the Adidas stripes or Balenciaga’s name marked a new collaboration with the athletic company. For Spring 2023, Balenciaga is distinctly of its time, managing to utilize saturated points of culture without treading into cliché.