The club kid of the design world – best friends with all the hot models and createur of the 'off-duty model' sartorial template that has become the fodder of global streetstyle; swishing his shiny locks from success to sucess. When Alexander Wang first emerged people just saw another cute, young designer. Talented, sure – but did they suspect that in years the design dynamo would be one of the most influential designers in modern fashion?
Did they heck. But now, at the grand old age of 30, Wang is the creative director of his eponymous line Alexander Wang, diffusion line T by Alexander Wang and powerhouse brand, Balenciaga. And while his SS15 show was all about trainer-inspired mini dresses (technicolour knit dresses were hooked off the bright Nike Flynit sneaker, while Adidas' Stan Smith trainer was deliciously re-imagined as white and apple green leather minis) all with Wang's signature slick sporty vibe - it's not the only thing he's made you wear. Ach, no – in just 10 years, here's what else the Wanger has made you wear...
A cashmere sweater – 2005
Remember in sixth form, or your first few years at uni (this is age dependant, guys) and all you wanted was to nick your boyfriend's cashmere jumper? Or, if he didn't have one, your dad's? Fuck, you just wanted SOMEONE'S. That came from Mr Wang. His first-ever collection consisted of just three unisex intarsia sweaters. Having dropped out of the famous Parsons School of Design in New York, aged 20, Wang sold his gender-neutral sweaters door-to-door – behind every success story is a hustler – they went on to be his first big-hitter after The New York Times featured them.
Anything with a 'model-off-duty' normcore vibe - AW08
His second ever runway collection, Alexander Wang collaborated with BFF Texan model Erin Wasson – who frequently walks for him – and nailed what is now that infamous 'model off-duty' look. Ribbed skinny tanks, denim, beanies and oversized shirts, it was normcore before normcore arrived. It gave us a way to feel – if not look – like the supermods, in low-key quietly sexy basics. This idea went on to be the hugely popular, affordable monochrome and greyscale diffusion line T by Alexander Wang. What did this mean for you? That a T-shirt and jeans was as much of a 'look' as a floral frock.
A studded bag – A/W09
So popular was the Rocco leather barrell bags with studs innovatively trammelling across the bottom rather than the top, that people are still buying them (newest variation? Rose gold studs.) Like Marc Jacobs, Wang wised up early to the fact that accessories are the key to building a brand – sell enough leather bags and you have the funds/reputation to expand into anything. Of course, if you couldn't afford one of these, that didn't mean you were immune. Remember owning a studded bag, at some point around five years ago? Ours was a suede one with tiny studs from Toppers.
A cosy sweater with a silk skirt – A/W11
You know that hi/lo contrast thing that's been around for ages and dictates that you can pair a casual oversized jumper with a silky evening skirt; and a shimmery sequin evening top with baggy boyfriend jeans? You've got Wang to thank in part for that. His shredded silk skirts and split-hem ribbed fuzzy knits were a lesson in how to nail it. Still works now, sister. Still works now!
A LWD – S/S13
Glow-in-the-dark futuristic staging set the tone for Alexander's incredibly simple, bright white cut-out bodycon dresses. As simple as they were sexy, they were the impetus for all the subtle cut-outs that arrived on the high street shortly thereafter (on the midriff, or the breast bone) as well as the influx of tighty wighty clothing.
A brash slogan sweater - SS14
Need we count the rip-offs we've spotted of Alexander's 'Parental Advisory' sweater, as seen on Georgia May Jagger along with unbuttoned Oxford shirts and boxers (pyjama chic: another thing he nailed last season.) Slogans were back and while many were happy – like Christopher Kane's pastel green 'Flower' for S/S14- many were also a little bit naughty; a little bit nasty. Channel this right now with Whistles' 'Cliché jumper'. Like Wang's, it'll leave people a little bit unsure about whether or not the words apply to you – or them. Never a bad thing.
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Pictures: Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.