If you were to choose a designer to represent the millennial generation, Alexander Wang would have to be it. Wang’s biography reads like a textbook on the unconventional career choices of fellow millennials like Mark Zuckerberg, who have turned entire sectors upside down and challenged the established quo.
Alexander Wang is well-known for his casually cool style. The look is a blend of French chic and youthful grunge. Wang’s designs have a macho edge to them, and they always show off his exceptional tailoring talents, whether in monotone or vivid hues.
Learn more about the fashion designer’s background and diverse styles below.
Alexander Wang’s Background and History
On December 26, 1983, the fashion designer was born in San Francisco, California, to Taiwanese parents. Wang grew up with his sister Theresa and brother Dennis. Contrary to popular belief, he has stated that he does not speak Mandarin Chinese. And, no, he is not connected to Vera Wang.
Wang went to The Harker School in San Jose, California, for elementary and middle school. During the ninth grade, he was a boarding student at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California. Wang went on to the Drew School in San Francisco, where he graduated.
Wang enrolled in a summer design program at Central Saint Martins when he was 15. He then traveled to New York City at 18 to attend Parsons School of Design. After two years, the designer dropped out to pursue a professional career and did not complete the degree.
Wang held several internships while in school, including one at Teen Vogue. He had already designed the first collection for his label, Alexander Wang. In 2005, the collection was mostly knitted, but by 2007, Wang had expanded to include a full women’s line sold in over 200 outlets.
Wang’s talent was recognized in the industry during the next few years. In 2008, he was awarded the Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America fund. Wang was named the winner of the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year the following year, and he also received the Swiss Textiles Award in 2009.
T by Alexander Wang, a diffusion collection, debuted in 2009 with pre-weathered cotton tanks, tees, and T-Shirt dresses.
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In 2010, Wang won the Swarovski Designer of the Year Award for Accessories for the second time. He was selected Best Designer of the Year by GQ in 2011 and Best Accessory Designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2012.
In March 2011, Alexander Wang partnered with jewelry designer Betony Vernon. They collaborated to create Second Skin cuffs with perforated accents throughout. The cuffs gave a sporty edge for his autumn/winter 2011 ready-to-wear collection.
During London and New York Fashion Weeks in September 2011, the designer was on full show. The Alexander Wang collection was featured in a shop window at London boutique Joseph, and Wang collaborated with Barneys to create a video project at 7th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue. Throughout the fashion week, the video was projected nightly onto a billboard.
Wang became creative director of Balenciaga in 2013. He admitted in an interview that he turned down the job the first time Balenciaga offered it to him. The company offered him a tour of the famed couturier’s library in response.
In the end, that visit to the archive persuaded him to accept the position left vacant by Nicolas Ghesquière’s resignation.
Wang’s Unique Style
Customer focus, remarkable talent, and a unique fashion vision are undoubtedly the most important ingredients in the success recipe of the young designer who, in only a few years, has defeated the fashion industry’s harshest critics and established his audience.
Alexander Wang’s parents had a modest packaging product manufacturing company; Wang received a commercial flair from them, which eventually played a key role in the brand’s development. Nonetheless, for Alexander, one work was never enough: he was always drawn to innovation and the development of something new and spectacular.
Wang’s design career began when he was 15 years old when he designed a collection of 35 bridal gowns and exhibited it during his brother’s wedding. The family supported their son’s early years, seeing a young prodigy’s talent and deciding to send Alexander to Parsons School of Design to study.
In 2002, Alexander Wang began his journey into the world of fashion. Wang interned at Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, and Teen Vogue during his studies. He began designing his clothesline towards the conclusion of his second year.
The award-winning designer launched a line of unisex cashmere sweaters shortly after leaving Parsons. They were initially sold door-to-door, but once the article in The New York Times was published, they became a huge hit.
The business was officially launched in 2005, and two years later, the designer debuted his women’s clothes collection at New York Fashion Week for the first time. Wang continued to develop the sport direction, aggressively using the simplest cut and technological fabrics in his work, beginning with the unisex knitwear collection, which was well welcomed by the stylish public.
Wang made a successful commercial move in 2010: by decreasing costs for the mainline, the company was able to broaden its consumer base and once again define the fundamental brand philosophy – convenience, accessibility, and impeccable style. Luxury, according to Alexander, does not automatically imply a hefty price tag. He claims that even the most basic T-shirt may be sumptuous depending on how and what you wear it with.
In the same year, the designer debuted T by Alexander Wang, a youth fashion line that expertly mixed monochrome, grunge, classics, sports, and laconic cut, as well as a collection of men’s and women’s spectacles.
Alexander Wang was offered the demanding position of Creative Director of the Balenciaga fashion brand in 2012. Many fashion experts were suspicious of the partnership, believing that the young designer was overly focused on street style.
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Nonetheless, Wang’s pick proved to be smart; the brand’s inaugural collection, designed by Wang for Balenciaga, was a hit with critics and customers alike. But neither the public’s acclaim nor the designer’s meteoric success could sway his main principles, and after three years with Balenciaga, Wang left to focus on developing his label.
The Alexander Wang brand is a harmonic blend of urban elegance and gothic grunge, minimalism, and street style focused on comfort and ease. His distinct style strikes a mix between restraint and complete flexibility, allowing everyone to express their uniqueness.