Alexander Wang On Designing For Balenciaga: 'It’s Double The Amount Of Work'

30 October 2013 by

Alexander Wang [Rex]

Working across continents on two different labels is commonplace within the fashion industry. Take Marc Jacobs for example, until his departure from Louis Vuitton earlier this month, he managed to split his time between Paris and New York for his duties for the luxury fashion house and his eponymous lines for the past 16 years. Or Jeremy Scott: the announcement of his appointment at Moschino means his schedule will now be halved, part L.A., part Milano. Another man who knows more of that Atlantic stretch than others will now be Alexander Wang. Since he took creative directorship at Balenciaga last November, the wunderkind has been in a whirlwind of press coverage, archival adventures and extra work.

‘Essentially it’s double the amount of work. But it’s been so enriching and such a challenge that I’ve really enjoyed. I really took it on as a way to see myself incorporate into a different business structure, something that might challenge me in the way that my own company may be able to grow into in a few years or a decade, etc. It’s definitely been an amazing ride,’ he tells WWD’s Bridget Foley, admitting also that jet lag is just something he’s become used to.

Alex cosies up to Georgia May Jagger backstage at the Wang S/S'14 show [Jason Lloyd Evans]

As for distinguishing the Wang aesthetic and that of a Parisian maison: ‘…going into Balenciaga, of course it was a completely new challenge that I’m not used to, but in a way, it really gave me discipline, gave me a way of creating codes and to dig for certain things and find things and make them more au currant, and make them more recognizable to speak to a much larger audience.’

Balenciaga's latest campaign for autum/winter 2013

With just eight years under his belt – and even some early confusion over whether to work in editorial or design, interning at Teen Vogue and Vogue as well as Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam - Californian-born Alex has achieved more than many can dream of in a lifetime. ‘When I was in school and I was quite uncertain after I got to Parsons and I was quite uncertain about courses I was taking, I just thought why not, let’s do an internship in editorial and find out about the other side, whether it was editors, stylists, photographers, and how the whole process works. I did it for a year.’ And that impressive growth within the crazy biz of design isn’t lost on him, either: ‘I never thought eight years ago in 2007 starting my first collection and selling, I remember the first time it shipped. I was going to every store and looking at the racks and just staring at the clothes in the store because I was so amazed that something we created was actually being sold. I think it’s important to never feel jaded in this business because it’s something I got into because of the excitement, the passion, and I hope that always stays there…’ We’re certain it will Monsieur Wang.


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