Alexander Wang, fashion prodigy in a hurry Brought to you by Fashion OneNamed to replace Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, 28-year-old Alexander Wang has confirmed his reputation as a brilliant designer in a hurry.
His last collection for spring 2013, which hit the runways at New York Fashion Week in September, got rave reviews for gravity-defying split leather dresses and glow-in-the-dark models.
Born in California to Taiwanese parents, Wang has developed a style that mixes avant-garde laser precision and a masculine accent. He already enjoys a status that many more experienced designers could only dream of.
The designer favors black and white, but also sometimes pushes the boundaries with bright colors, as he did when he surprised fans in the spring-summer show in 2009 with oranges, violets and bright pinks.
Wang was 18 when he left San Francisco to study at Parsons, the New York fashion hotspot. He was an intern for Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam and then in his second year at school designed the first collection under his own name.
Not bothering to finish his studies, Wang began a meteoric rise with his first ready-to-wear collection in 2007, combining relaxed chic and sharp urban looks and selling in 200 stores.
The next year saw Wang win the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue award, along with the $200,000 prize.
In 2009, Wang sent out a highly coveted line of T-shirts, tank tops and cotton dresses, and also diversified into tall sandals, another of his passions.
Again he was recognized for his brilliance, this time winning the Swarovski prize for women's wear designer of the year. The following year he'd get the same award but for accessories.
Wang has penetrated the mainstream with his clothes sold in department stores like Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges, featuring everything from dresses to handbags and men's wear.
The celebrated designer has also collaborated with lower-end chains like Gap and Uniqlo, while his boutique in Manhattan's SoHo, which opened in 2011, is a must-see for New York fashionistas. Last November, fans waited for hours to get in for a rare sale.
The designer known for running onto the runway at the end of shows clearly doesn't like to wait around, with plans for a dozen stores around the world, including a two-story boutique in Beijing. Heading over to Balenciaga however might see some of those projects put on hold.