Designer To Watch: Alexander Wang
by Couch Sessions
NAME: Alexander Wang
Reppen: San Francisco
Occupation: Fashion Designer
Crew: Erin Wasson (Victoria Secret Model turned Stylist/Designer)
Anyone can get all dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off, that are most intriguing.
If I had to bet on who is going to become a legend (he might just be already one) in the fashion industry it would be Alexander Wang. What grabbed my attention to him as silly as it may seem was seeing a picture of him, M.I.A and Zoe Kravitz at this year’s Met Costume Institute Gala 2010 that takes place every year at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. So many celebs have been put on the “who rocked it better” list with Wang’s creations. It seems everybody wants a piece of him and I definitely see why. His designs are the shit and he has amassed a huge cult following among the hipsters in the industry in such a short amount of time. Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Blake Lively, Trina, Kristian Cavallari, Khole Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan the list goes on.
So who is this guy gaining popularity among so many different types of women in the entertainment industry? Alexander Wang was born and raised in San Francisco and started designing dresses at 15 for his sister-in-law, which eventually led him to put on his first fashion show at her wedding. From there he attended a pre-college summer program at OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. His short jaunt in the summer program fueled his ambitions even more, so at the tender age of 18 in 2002 he left the comfort and weather of the west coast and landed in the gritty city that never sleeps to attend Parsons School of Design. From there his career has taken a sort of snow ball effect. He landed internships with Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, and Teen Vogue. During his internship with Teen Vogue, not only had he been quietly working on his collection and got a stamp of approval from the Fashion Editor at the time, he also had his own fashion enterprise in the works.
The Alexander Wang enterprise consists of his mother, sister-in-law, and brother who in the beginning had no real experience. The close knit group has managed to keep it in the “family”, with no outside investors pushing him along. Which I think is amazing because he can be totally immersed in his own vision without the corporate monkey hanging on to his back trying to push him in a mainstream direction.
Alex has managed to master the balance between the catwalk and the street. His designs have a cocky adronious air about them and would give any woman confidence. From his off the shoulder asymmetrical skin tight dresses down to his handbags named after characters on 90210 (Brenda and Kelly of course). He has managed to master the balance between the catwalk and the street, which many fashion labels claim to do, but Alex has it down packed. He launched is first full collection in 2007 which garnered the attention of the BIG names in fashion such as Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg who are now his mentors. He has won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award receiving $200,000 and the 2009 CFDA Swarovski women’s wear Designer of the year. So what could be possibly next for this child prodigy of fashion (he is only 26, so that’s a child prodigy to me) that has already had partnerships with GAP, Keds, and Uniqlo? He’s planning to open a flagship store in New York soon and is working on several projects on the west coast.
In my opinion it’s not just the talent, it’s the ambition and drive combined that makes you truly successful and Alexander Wang is the perfect example. Living in an apartment in NYC on his own, Wang’s favorite outfit is a skinny pant, T-shirt, and backpack. How inspiring!!!!