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Alexander Wang Re-Releases 10 Bestsellers for His 10th Anniversary

It’s hard to imagine a 31-year-old designer having a ten-year retrospective capsule collection, but then again Alexander Wang isn’t your typical 30-something. Launching a debut collection after two years at Parsons at the tender age of 21, Wang has ascended to the top of the fashion world as the force behind one of America’s most recognized brands—and for nearly three years as the creative director of Balenciaga, one of France’s too. “It has gone by so fast and I’ve experienced and learned so much that I would have never imagined,” Wang tells us. “I remember the first season when I had to show buyers my first six sweaters in my apartment before knowing what a line sheet was. It’s hard to pinpoint specific moments as it has been an amazing journey. I think winning the CFDA was one of the most special moments, as well as opening our first store in Soho—but on a purely fun level, all the after-parties are definitely highlights for me.”

The highlights for fans, on top of those parties everyone clamored for invites to, were always the clothes, so it makes sense for Wang and co. to bring back the best sellers, even if it wasn’t their first instinct. “To be honest, at first it seemed too obvious to bring back ten items,” Wang says. What changed his mind was the customer feedback about long-term favorites, which he would receive on social media. “So, we ultimately decided to use the occasion of the anniversary to crowd-source this ten-year capsule collection; calling out to our fans to bring back what they loved most.” Letting the voting play out on Instagram and Twitter seemed a natural fit for the designer, whose brand just surpassed one million followers on Instagram. “Social media has a very sincere, immediate, and democratic way of reaching out to people. I appreciate how I can talk directly to our audience and get instant feedback. This was really an opportunity to hear from our customers worldwide, what they liked best, which moments and which looks stood out to them.”

So what made the cut? In the capsule collection’s lookbook, starring Anna Ewers photographed by Gregory Harris, you’ll find Spring 2009’s mesh dress with graphic embellishment, Fall 2008’s low-waisted leather pants, and the athletic-inspired leather shorts from Spring 2010. (“The item that was the most unexpected to me was the moto leather jacket with fur fringe”—from Fall 2009—“which is more of an extravagant piece. But I’m very excited that it did come back as part of this capsule.”) The ten items are all black, though that’s not the only correlation the designer sees. “My style has evolved, but at the same time there is a core sensibility that has remained consistent in my collections. I have always liked the idea of mixing the refined with the imperfect; creating items that are not precious,” he says, “There’s a realness in an outfit that’s ‘off,’ and I find that realness very attractive.”

Fans can rest assured that Wang’s brand of clever subversion will continue to carry into the next ten years of his eponymous label, and if rumors prove true that he is seeking private investment, the reach of his studded bags and skintight dresses will only become greater. “I would love to continue to explore whatever it is that interests me, whether it has to do with fashion or not. I hope to have the opportunity to continuously explore different avenues and evolve,” Wang says. “For now, I’ll take it a step at a time.”

—Steff Yotka,

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