Thursday, November 13, 2014

Alexander Wang — Fashion Icon

Industry darling has grown line of slouchy Ts and tough-girl leather into
award-winning full-blown lifestyle brand.
Wonder Boy Does It Better (Circa 2007)
My addiction, I believe, is often motivated by a wakeful—and beautiful—human desire for the ephemeral. For these moments of satisfying transcendence I simply refer to Alexander Wang’s spring/summer 2007 collection. Infused with ’80s utilitarian cool, and spilling at the brim with sex, Wang has taken his eponymous line to new realms of casual luxury.
This is not foreign territory for the boldly ambitious designer who dropped out of school to start his first line two years back. His debut of affordable cashmere successfully married modern styling and classic appeal, proving that you can be all of those things and everything else in the fashion universe while simultaneously being witness to them. There is no specific inspiration for his latest collection; however, fans will enjoy the evolution of Wang’s vision—a combination of “part California surfer bum, a dash of rock and roll, mixed with French tomboy elements.”


But enough about the clothes; let’s talk about the man! Clean yet complex, kind of like his clothes, Alexander Wang grew up on both coasts, never lacking a centrifuge. Born and raised in San Francisco, Chinese American Wang traded the sunny California beaches for the fashion mecca of New York, where he entered Parsons School of Design at the age of 18. Punctuated by internships at Marc Jacobs and Vogue, by his sophomore year Wang was ready to stand on his own, richly textured two feet. Now 22, Wang catches up with SOMA Magazine to talk fashion, fancy, and fun as he embarks on his forth and most ambitious collection to date.

Where do you get your inspirations for your designs?
All over the place, from walking around on the streets to old TV shows from the ’80s.

How would you describe the world of Alexander Wang?
Fun, cheeky, chic, street, luxurious, urban, modern, and classic.

What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Do what you want, and believe in and stick with it.

What is the future of Alexander Wang?
Everything from shoes, bags, to skincare—hopefully. (Smiles.)

Reading by Lena, who has no idea this palm belongs to Alexander Wang.
1. Strongly independent. This came early in life. Somewhere around age 14 or so, this person began making their own choices and parents had no further control.
2. Wishes to be recognized by society for having contributed to the welfare of the world. Heroes will be people like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and such folks.
3. Incredible creativity here. A dreamer who receives inspiration while sleeping and dreaming.
4. Clear-hearted. Will love deeply. One person. Naturally monogamous–and will be the leader in this relationship.
5. Dreams not only for self, but for all humanity–great dreams and high dreams, not individual specific.
6. Self-directed. They will go their own way, making their own choices and living by the results. — Lulu Chang | SOMA

All About Alexander Wang (Circa 2009)
From cashmere cardies to a major CFDA win, Alexander Wang has come a long way in five years.

All About Alexander Wang Life hasn’t exactly been normal for Wang lately, at least not since he catapulted into fashion’s It arena. Back in 2005, when he launched his line, he wasn’t getting personal calls from any designer, top tier or otherwise. He also wasn’t the subject of much online panting—go ahead, Google him; he’ll pop up after other famous Alexanders: McQueen, Graham Bell, Hamilton and “the Great”—and didn’t have strangers approaching him for a quick photo op. If his name appeared in the press, it was often followed by the clarifying phrase “no relation to Vera.” He was just an upstart among upstarts, pulling his neophyte cashmere samples around to buyer appointments in a roll-away suitcase. And in those days he was scouring eBay for tickets to the CFDA awards. “I would have given anything to even just watch them,” Wang says.

Runway looks from spring and fall 2009.
This past June, Wang not only watched, he took home the CFDA Swarovski Award for emerging women’s wear designer. Onstage to accept the award, having paired his Helmut Lang blazer from high school with new Comme des Garçons shorts that barely grazed his knees, an ear-to-ear grin and tousled bed-head, Wang, 25, looked every inch the youthful schoolboy. The look belied the fact that Wang heads a small—$20 million—but serious business, which has successfully spawned shoes, bags and a secondary collection called T.

“Alex is both a designer and a merchant—he’s the perfect combination,” says Sarah Easley of the New York shop Kirna Zabête. “Often designers are known for something they’re fantastic at. Alex does every category well: dresses, evening, play clothes, work clothes, items, whole looks. Every category is polished and solid.” And Wang’s numbers speak for themselves. According to company figures, spring 2009 had an average sell-through of 60 percent, with his red-hot accessories accounting for 30 percent of his business. And for his spring 2009 footwear debut, the downtown store Opening Ceremony had a waiting list 900 names deep. “He is a star,” von Furstenberg conveys by e-mail. “Alex is a very unique one.” Venessa Lau | W

Alexander Wang x H&M – Men’s Collection (Circa 2014)

Alexander Wang and H&M have teamed-up to create, design and
produce two huge collections – for both men & women. — Thom | Freshtastics


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