'WANG'S WORLD' Alexander Wang's Immigrant Americana
The night of June 3rd marked a special evening for the Alexander Wang brand. After coming off of his latest Spring/Summer collection Wang decided to go in a new direction in the industry while showcasing his latest collection.
Typically fashion shows feature Fall/Winter lines throughout January and February, while showcasing the Spring/Summer lines throughout September into late October. However Wang put his own twist on things. “Collection 1”(Wang’s take on a Fall line) has been showcased in June and will hit stores in October while “Collection 2” will be showcased in December and hit shelves in April.
At the show Wang was able to speak on the new format in further detail. “Our customer doesn’t understand seasonality… they just want to shop in digital time” (The Cut). With the retail world being shaped by the consumer now it has been imperative for retailers and designers alike to adjust. Because the “seasons” that we have come to know in fashion continue to change this move by Wang will more than likely be followed by others in the near future.
As far as the actual collection goes, Wang drew inspiration from his family, immigrants from Taiwan who moved to California in 1973. When asked about it this is what Wang had to say. "I was inspired by them coming here and not speaking English, going to the grocery store and not knowing how to buy food, and all the jobs they had to do to build a better life for me… taking that story and infusing it with pop culture Americana references that I grew up with… and infusing it into that world. I wanted to find a new way to express inclusivity and create a new narrative of what that might look like,"(Harpers Bazaar). The title “Immigrant Americana” couldn’t be more appropriate for this type of subject matter.
The inspiration for the collection could be seen throughout the runway. Models were clothed in Axl Rose bandanas, leather jackets with mandarin collars, biker shorts, safety pin designs on facemasks and Alexander Wang football jerseys. The modelcast itself also featured several Asians, which isn’t typical for a Wang runway.
Although the fashion community has long known Wang for his goth/punk, life of the party style it is important to recognize this collection as a step in a new direction. It will be interesting to see the impact that Immigrant Americana serves in the future. Not only for the Wang brand, but other designers and retailers alike.
Words by Joseph Woltke
Photos courtesy of Getty Images