In this month’s Vogue, Wang turned Kering (formerly PPR) CEO Francois-Henri Pinault down.
Pinault didn’t take no for an answer, instead flying Wang to Paris to peruse the Balenciaga archives at 11pm at night.
Still not convinced, Wang then consulted a psychic, who apparently told him it was his destiny. He also went the practical route, making a pros and cons list:
“I felt that fear was driving my decision-making,” he said. “So I wrote down a list of pros and cons and asked myself, ‘What am I afraid of? The perception of failure? The perception of what people might think?’ I knew that what I wanted completely outweighed all of that.”
Even after accepting the job, he was a bit fearful of criticism (which he did get). “As an American designer coming to a French house that’s been around for a long time—and which had been built up by someone else—one of my biggest fears was that I’d be constantly up against a wall,” he said. “There were a lot of people who were . . . divided when I got the job; there was a lot of speculation as to what direction the brand would take.”