That Alexander Wang is one of the most sought-after designers of the moment is the understatement of the season! His spring/summer collection reinterpreted American sportswear and made grey jersey h-o-t, the lower-priced T line made his soft, easy tees a wardrobe must and, of course, there are those bags and shoes! As it turns out, sunglasses were the next step towards complete domination of our wardrobes and the fantastic Mr Wang wisely turned to the iconic British label Linda Farrow, well-known for their collaborations with some of the most exciting designers around.
We caught up with Tracy Sedino, who alongside Linda Farrow’s son, Simon, brought new life to the label, in Paris, to quiz her about all things Wang, sunglasses and oooh, just what they might have in-store for us next season involving a certain Ms Murphy. Plus, look out for this week’s issue of Grazia for an even closer look at the Alexander Wang collaboration.
Grazia Daily: Tracy, tell us how the collaboration with Alex happened. Did he come to you or did you approach him?
TS: Actually, in March last year I approached Alex. I wanted us to collaborate because I think he has such an amazing brand that is definitely growing and going places. So, I met them in Paris, during women’s, and it all went fairly quickly from there. I think they were happy with the brand collaborations that we already had and as soon as we met each other we both had the same marketing strategy and vision. We knew it’d be a great collaboration.
GD: So, what did you see in him and his brand that you liked and thought would work with Linda Farrow?
TS: We try to make sure that things aren’t overlapping with all the brands that we work with, in the sense that we work with brands like Dries van Noten, Matthew Williamson and Yohji Yamamoto, and they’re all very different with very different target audiences. But the main thing is that, between Simon and I, we really do love the brands that we work with. It was great with Alex because we didn’t really have an American brand, we hadn’t seen one that we liked for a long time and then he came around. It was just before he was getting really big. I really liked what he was doing. I knew he was showing in Paris, in their showroom for the first time, so I thought I’d just give him a call.
GD: You were there from the start!
TS: Yes! I was a really, really big fan and he was just launching shoes and handbags and there was already a waiting list in Browns, that I was on! I was the fan anyway, and to be honest, that’s the same with all the brands we work with. They’re brands that we genuinely like rather that what their turnover is.
GD: It must also help that he seems to be the nicest man in fashion too!
TS: Yes, he’s so, so nice. We just did this event in LA and it was really nice, very intimate, 35 people at dinner in Opening Ceremony and Humberto’s (Leon, owner of Opening Ceremony) mother cooked for the event! It was a really amazing five-course meal and everyone knew each other and it was very welcoming! The whole collaboration with them has been very easy, I can’t complain.
GD: Could you describe the product and the idea behind it?
TS: Basically, we designed his eyewear range together. Alex knew exactly what he wanted and I think his eyewear collection really reflects his whole collection and especially the accessories. He uses a lot of hardware; see the Rocco bag, the studs and the Diego bag. For instance, one of the sunglasses that we’ve made is called The Zipper and it has this zipper running along the whole outline of the sunglass. The zip on the sunglass is actually the same zip used in his handbags. We’ve tried to tie everything in; even the colour of the metal in the sunglasses is the same he uses in his handbags.
GD: The cat’s-eye shape is pretty cool too!
TS: Yeah, it’s pretty cool! We’ve got it in tortoiseshell and also in brass, again, it’s the same metal finishing of his handbags, a really dirty, worn, vintage type of metal. So we really tried to make the collection relevant to his other accessories. It wasn’t just a license that has no relevance to the brand.
GD: Exactly, and it really shows. You do get that these are the Alexander Wang sunglasses for S/S ’10.
TS: Absolutely, and I think that’s why he was keen to work with us. There are a lot of companies out there purely as license brands, they have no relevance to the brand and literally create a generic sunglass with a logo on its side.
GD: It has just launched in the States with Opening Ceremony, where and when is it going to be available here in the UK?
TS: It’s going to be available in Browns, Harvey Nichols and Feathers. Browns will get it this week exclusively for three weeks and then everyone else is going to have it thereafter.
GD: You’re well known for your collaborations with other designers both well established and new talent. What are your other spring/summer collaborations?
TS: This summer we’re also launching The Row, so we now have two American brands. We don’t have too many new brands for this season, we’re trying to maintain the brands we already have and grow them. So, we still have Peter Pilotto, who is really amazing, we have a great relationship with him and the collection is doing really well, House of Holland, Matthew Williamson again, Dries van Noten, Raf Simons, Todd Lynn and for menswear we’re also taking on Tim Soar. Actually, in a few weeks we’ll be launching a little project for autumn-winter with Roisin Murphy. She’s just had a baby and is in Ireland recovering. She’s really amazing, we have a great relationship with her and she wears a lot of our glasses.
GD: Sounds exciting! What about your main Linda Farrow Luxe line, is it still a big part of the brand?
TS: Absolutely, Luxe is actually one of our best-selling brands because it’s made out of the very highest quality materials and they’re timeless, classic pieces. For this summer, we’re working a lot with exotic skins like python, sea snake and stingray but in very luxurious colours and also, in very classic shapes. We now have so much attention on Alexander Wang and The Row and they’re both been doing phenomenally well! We’ve been selling so much of them both and have waiting lists and everything! Considering the recession it’s been very successful.
Alexander Wang by Linda Farrow is available at Browns exclusively from today.
- Kiki Georgiou