Alexander Wang leaves Balenciaga after less than three years

NEW YORK - Fashion designer Alexander Wang is leaving label Balenciaga after less than three years, said Women's Wear Daily.

Early this month, the trade newspaper said that he was in talks with the storied house's parent company, Kering, and that he may not renew his contract because he wants to focus on his own label.

The American designer of street-smart clothing was hired in late 2012 to replace French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere, who left for competitor Louis Vuitton after 15 years.

At the time, the Mandarin-speaking Wang's appointment was seen as a move to broaden Balenciaga's appeal in China.

The label was founded by Spanish haute couture master Cristobal Balenciaga in 1919, established in Paris in 1936 and bought by Kering in 2001.