SINGAPORE - Fashion designer Alexander Wang’s hotly anticipated collaboration with Swedish fast fashion giant H&M hits stores today. Queues for the range started forming as early as Tuesday morning in Singapore, with shoppers overnight stays in line to get their hands on the coveted goods.
Here are five reasons why American designer Alexander Wang is so hot.
1. High-fashion sportswear
His eponymous label is all about the mix of high-fashion and sportswear, with an “off-duty model” vibe. Wang brought a new ease to the fashion world with fluid shapes, sporty techno fabric and utilitarian design. His brand, established in 2005, is often described as being very youthful and cool, inspired by New York and street fashion. His elevation of these sporty looks has him leading the athletic wave.
2. Balenciaga’s new prince
In December of 2012, it was announced that the then-29-year-old designer would become the new creative director of storied French fashion house Balenciaga, succeeding designer Nicholas Ghesquiere. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of talk about such a young designer steering such a historic fashion brand, but the young wunderkind’s undeniably modern aesthetic is probably what got him the job. The first few collections under Wang have garnered relatively positive reviews.
3. The H&M collaboration
The Swedish retailer’s popular tie-ups with hot designers, which have come to define high-low designer collaborations, is now already in its 10th year. Wang joins top designers and labels such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela and Isabel Marant in this exclusive club. Interestingly, the young designer is the first American to be selected for this collaboration. The majority of those involved have been European labels.
4. Talent across categories
When the Alexander Wang brand was first launched, it began with a selection of knitwear. Since then, the label has been recognised among multiple categories by bagging awards across genres. In 2008, the designer received the top emerging designer award for the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)/Vogue Fashion Fund.
The next year, he was announced the winner of the Swarovski Award for Womenswear. When he started menswear in 2011, he was named Best Menswear Designer of the year by GQ magazine, and also won several Best Accessory Designer awards from the CFDA.
His diffusion line T by Alexander Wang, which launched in 2009, has also been popular for its perfectly slouchy T-shirts.
5. Asian-American wave
When the San Francisco-born Wang burst onto the scene at the tender age of 19, leaving Parsons The New School for Design before graduating, he eventually joined a growing wave of Asian-American design talents that were gaining ground in New York, including Derek Lam, Phillip Lim and Jason Wu. Though the designer is more likely to be referencing New York and the urban city in his designs, Wang’s parents are Taiwanese-American and the family still has ties to Taiwan.
Sources: The Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily, British Vogue