Alexander Wang is an American fashion designer. His eponymous label embodies a cool, utilitarian chic, downtown style that is favoured by both critics and models alike — he describes his style as “M.O.D – models off-duty”.
Born in San Francisco to parents of Taiwanese descent, Wang grew up steeped in beach culture, but moved to New York at 18 to attend the Parsons School of Design. After dropping out in his second year, he began his own label in 2004 (which launched with a range of unisex cashmere sweaters) at just 19.
He launched his first full women’s ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week in 2007.
In 2008, he won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, where he received US$20,000 to expand his business. Diane von Furstenberg became his mentor (he cites Anna Wintour and his mother as his other two guides in life), even after he once declined an offer from her to design jumpers for DVF.
In 2009, Wang launched a diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang, which featured pre-weathered cotton T-shirts, tank tops and T-shirt dress, as well as a footwear collection featuring platform sandals. He has also launched a line of handbags and, in late 2011, he launched his first sneaker line.
During New York Fashion Week in February 2012, Wang opened his first flagship store in Soho. Now there are 16 flagship stores around the world with 138 stockists.
Wang’s label is a family affair. His brother, Dennis, serves as chief financial advisor for the brand; his sister-in-law, Aimie, is the chief principal officer; and his mother is also involved behind-the-scenes.
Photos: Alexander Wang