Alexander Wang is creative director of the eponymous label he launched in 2005, aged 21. In June 2016, Wang added the roles of chief executive and chairman to his official list of responsibilities, replacing his sister-in-law Aimie Wang as chief executive, and his mother Ying Wang as chairwoman. In addition to heading up his namesake brand, he also held the post of creative director at Balenciaga from 2012 to 2015.
Wang’s foray into fashion began after he dropped out of the Parsons School of Design in 2004 to start his own label, initially creating a knitwear collection based on six unisex silhouettes. Wang was initially supported in his venture by his family: his brother assumed the role of chief financial advisor, his sister-in-law acted as chief principal officer, and the designer was able to utilise family connections to source production from China. His label soon evolved into a sleek but fully realised women’s ready-to-wear collection; Wang debuted his first runway collection for Autumn/Winter 2007 at New York Fashion Week.
The response was immediate. Anna Wintour , a key supporter, soon mobilised her influence to bring attention to the young designer. In 2008, Wang received the top award from the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund, a sum of $200,000. In 2009, he was announced as the winner of the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year, and as the winner of the Swiss Textiles Award.
In December 2012 Wang was appointed creative director of Balenciaga, succeeding Nicolas Ghesquière at the storied French house. Wang’s debut collection for the brand was positively received, despite having faced scepticism about his ability to fill Nicolas Ghesquière's shoes. In July 2015, however, it was announced that Balenciaga and Kering decided not to renew the American designer's contract.
Alexander Wang now produces both menswear and womenswear main line collections, a diffusion line — T by Alexander Wang — for men and women, footwear, and accessories. In 2011, Wang’s entry into menswear was noted by GQ, who named him Best Menswear Designer. In the same year, he won the CFDA Award for Best Accessory Designer. Wang’s aesthetic remains true throughout his various lines, and has inspired an entire generation of women to dress in his sportswear-inspired looks.
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