Alexander Wang, fashion’s wonder kid, talks about music, fashion and business before partying with us.
At 29 years-old, Alexander Wang has already established a full-fledged fashion house comprising of women’s and men’s wear, accessories and even a home product line. His work has garnered him numerous accolades including Best Designer and Best Accessory Designer prize from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and Swarovksi. In a fiercely competitive market, what is his key to success?
“A lot of fashion today is about having your own point of view. It’s important to create something that you’re attracted to so our audience can have a response to it in a positive way. It’s accessible for them to buy the item, to wear it and enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s about staying focused on what we want to achieve,” he says.
However as anyone in the industry will attest, it’s easier said than done especially when fashion’s cycle is turning faster and faster. Wang has a lot to live up to, especially when it comes to expectations from the press and customers.
“I do feel overwhelmed sometimes with the pressure and the scheduling, but it’s a labour of love and I really enjoy every minute of it. I’m grateful to be able to do what I enjoy doing.”
“I have an amazing team; we are all very excited about ideas and inspirations. We always set very high goals and try to work our best. It’s about looking forward and taking pride in our work so we are anything but short of ideas right now,” he says humbly.
It’s exactly this positive energy and confidence that Wang channels into his collections. Easy-jersey pieces mix with slim tailoring and a monochrome palette to create an effortlessly cool look that fashionistas love. Wang makes women look urban, relevant and sexy without trying too hard. And this season, he’s added even more to his repertoire including colour and prints.
“This spring/summer collection is heavily based on sport - speed, velocity, mesh, racing uniforms – which we try to take to new areas. We used botanical prints and vibrant colour which appears for the first time so prominently on runway. It’s a response to what we’ve done before and to challenge ourselves. As a designer, there’s a responsibility to showcase something that’s new, a surprise to the audience, something that they’re not expecting. It feels so right in the end,” he says.
Wang attributes his creative freedom to the fact that his label is self-owned, enabling him to constantly push the limits both personally and in the business.
“I love the fact that I don’t have anyone to answer to, it’s a great privilege. However, I must say, as much as I love visiting all the stores, the travelling… I’m not a big fan of flying although going to new places is always quite fascinating.”
It was therefore a rare treat when Wang made the trip all the way from New York to party with JOYCE.
“I’ve heard amazing things about the JOYCE team, that they will create an amazing party for us. This is the first time that I have not been so involved on it,” he says.
Renowned for working and partying hard, Wang reveals that his other love aside from fashion is music.
“Music is such big component to my working process. I really feel that style starts with music. Every major movement in recent times always go back to music. I did grunge, punk, glam… I follow music very closely. Right now I’m specifically into electronic and hip hop, as always,” he says.
One thing that he isn’t too keen on, though, is the fashion “it” boy moniker he has been given during the past few years.
“It’s about making beautiful things that we love, not about making an ‘it’ item or an ‘it’ girl. If it becomes that then that’s the fate of that particular piece. But I think if you focus too much on how to make something ‘it’, then it looses the integrity of that creation.”
Right after his Hong Kong visit, Wang heads back to New York to finish up his resort collection. Then there’s 14 stores in Asia in the pipeline, showing that there’s no stopping this wonder boy – “it” or not.