Balenciaga RTW Spring 2018

PARIS — Balenciaga plans to expand its men’s wear offer next year, while concentrating its runway fireworks in coed displays.

The label, lead by artistic director Demna Gvasalia, said Tuesday it would stage its first such dual runway show during Paris Fashion Week in March for the fall season.

Meanwhile, its first men’s pre-collection is to be presented by appointment to buyers and press in January during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

That means Balenciaga will now offer four men’s collections per year instead of two.

Prior to Gvasalia’s arrival at the French house in 2015, Balenciaga presented one collection per season via showroom appointments. The Georgian designer used the runway to introduce extreme silhouettes, including boxy coats with exaggerated shoulders and suffocating, slim-lined sportswear.

At the time, his debut men’s show for spring 2017 was the heritage brand’s first such runway outing in its 99-year history.

The brand, owned by conglomerate Kering, now moves into line with its sister labels Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, which have already adopted mixed shows, staged during women’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris.

Etro, Dsquared2, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Kenzo, Moschino, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford and Cédric Charlier are among others to have already jumped on the coed bandwagon.

Generally, having one display instead of two per season allows brands to reduce costs, while presenting a cohesive fashion message that works for many labels in an increasingly gender-blurry world.

The change at Balenciaga may also ease pressure on Gvasalia, who is also creative director of his Vetements brand. He has been staging coed shows for that label during Paris Couture Week, which takes place in January and July after the men’s shows in the French capital. However, last year the designer nixed plans to parade his spring 2018 collection during couture week and instead organized showroom appointments.