Cover Balenciaga has announced its plans to include menswear in its first couture show since 1968 (Photo: Getty Images)

The luxury fashion house will unveil its collection of haute couture menswear by next summer

Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia has this week announced the French fashion house’s plans to include menswear in its first couture show; an event that will come as a first for the maison since its Spanish founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga, closed his studio in 1968.

The Georgian designer and founder of luxury streetwear brand Vetements was made creative director of Balenciaga in 2015 and made headlines recently for his forward-thinking plans to show a couture collection every July—but this time said show will include a variety of menswear.

“I think men came to the point that they want to wear couture as well, and I know that we have some customers that will love that,” Gvasalia told WWD in a statement. “I want to kind of erase the gender identification of couture being only for women, or only for older women who have money to afford it.”

Despite his desire to reinvent how haute couture is viewed as a whole, Gvasalia was still attracted to the concept of couture because it represented the “highest form of creative liberation in fashion,” according to WWD. This sort of artist-first mentality has allowed him to fully take advantage of the artistic liberties by way of fabrics, silhouettes, and constriction—something that founder Cristobal Balenciaga was especially revered for.

“I believe strongly that couture actually may save fashion, in its modern way,” Gvasalia added. “It can actually become the driving force of fashion again, because you’re free from the constraints of industrial production.”

While the first show of its kind was originally scheduled for January of this year, it has since been pushed to debut next July, and if all goes as planned will be followed by a seasonless collection every July moving forward.

See also: SS21 Fashion Week Correspondent Declan Chan's Top 5 Most Anticipated Moments

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