A surprised Alexander Wang picked up the 2009 Swiss Textiles Award in Zurich, presented by the TVS Swiss Textile Federation, along with a cash prize of 100,000 euros or about $147,000 to go toward the international development of his brand (including $14,700 that is allocated specifically for buying Swiss fabrics). The designer – who is so in demand that there are 400 people on the wait list for his Rocco Bag at Barneys New York – beat out Peter Pilotto, Erdem, Thakoon, Alexis Mabille, and Ohne Titel (each of whom received a 4,000 euro (about $6,000) Swiss fabrics voucher.
The young designer’s win follows that of the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte last year (who presented their Spring/Summer collection at the event), and follows Wang’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win of $200,000. In his remarks Wang gushed – “I’m so honored to take this award, and I share this with the other five contestants. This year has been an amazing year for us as a company and as a family. Taking it forward and growing as a business has helped us realize a lot of things. The monetary component [of this prize] is always a big help, no matter what size business you are. The most important thing is to keep improving what you do and keep on moving forward. Winning the Swiss Textiles Award feels like the cherry on the cake.”
Among those that judged the designers for the prestigious award were Ben Reardon of i-D magazine, Senken Shimbun’s Mina Wakatski, and fashion designer Isabel Toledo.