News & Runway

Designer Dossier: Alexander Wang

It's hard to know what came first, the Model-Off-Duty (MOD) look or Alexander Wang's first collection. It's worth pondering, as they're essentially one and the same. Alexander is a wunderkind in the high-fashion world, lauded by the most discerning fashion journalists and one of Anna Wintour's favorites. His rise to the top began, arguably, at birth due to his innate ability to produce clothing that personifies young, cool, and hip without the sense of irony we attach to "hipsters." But it wasn't until 2007 that his first full collection was available for sale. 

The young man moved to New York City at age eighteen to pursue a career in fashion. After a few high-profile internships (one at Marc Jacobs) he dropped out his sophomore year, went on to produce his own line, and promptly won the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award the following year in 2008. Even before Wang made it big as a designer, he was running around with models in the city. A photo at one such party actually helped start his career, as he was wearing one of his own designs. People who saw it wanted to know, "Who's that boy?" or rather, "Where did he get that shirt?" 

So what's the big deal anyway? Why does Wang have the hearts of so many fashionistas and the biggest editor in the business? His clothes represent an aesthetic that embodies downtown cool; it taps into an enviable lifestyle that so many would love to experience — even if only for a day. We're talking about the glamorous world of a fashion model. These gazelle-like creatures, so made up and fussed over at their day job, walk around the coolest cities in the world with a slightly disheveled, barefaced, uniform of chic, simple ensembles. This is exactly what Wang designs. Shades of gray, black, and white as well as draping, plays on proportion, skinny jeans, and leather jackets are all de rigueur for his collections. Wang is synonymous with the cool kids clique and the fashion world clamors to be part of it. His is the lunch table you want to be eating at between fourth and fifth period.

He took a slight deviation from the norm for Spring 2012 when he let the upcoming summer Olympics in London be his guide. Bright colors, perforated leather, sporty stripes, and whisper-thin ski chalet sweaters will no doubt be worn by his devoted followers and adopted into the chicest MOD looks.

Take a look at some of our favorite Wang looks from the recent past and present: