To Marc Jacobs’ dismay, he is on the nominees’ list again. The creative director of Louis Vuitton never really wants to be at any CFDA award ceremonies. “I only go to the CFDAs because if I don’t go, Anna Wintour calls up and says, ‘You have to go’”. To be fair, he has nine CFDA gongs at home already. People get bored. We understand.
The second contender is another fashion hall of fame – Donna Karan – the fashion libber whose design ethos goes against the multi-billion pound industry: ‘Fashion is really about sensuality; how a woman feels on the inside’. Oops.
Last but certainly not least, we get a choice with a lot more enthusiasm. After scooping $200,000 by winning the Anna Wintour Award for New Tale… No, the CFDA award for Emerging Talent – formally known as the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Alexander Wang becomes the hotly tipped winner for the award.
Is it any wonder? And what has the 25 year-old got that the others haven’t?
Since his grungy rock and roll styling sowed the seeds for the $15 million brand, Wang has certainly enjoyed an organic growth on all possible fronts – from slouchy tops to off-the-wall suit tailoring; from a crowd of cult, street-chic followers to becoming the best-seller at Barneys. His spring/summer 10 double layer zip detail boot has been so over-exposed that an editor at a prominent fashion magazine has to ban it from appearing in any more photo shoots. So what’s with the hype?
The paparazzi have created this urban fantasy of effortless Hollywood glamour. Frizzy haired and in a jogger, the A-listers are off in their gas-guzzler for a Starbucks and a photographic opportunity. Alexander Wang has fitted his clothes into this bubble. The ideal of being able to just roll out of bed, brush one’s teeth with brandy, casually throw something on and be mistaken for a superstar. Being a rich-and-famous has never been so easy.
Essential for any star of CCTV, Wang creates eloquent items with a hint of lethargy and nonchalance. His languid cutting banished the old meaning of edginess. Add to his success is that everyone can look very much the Alexander Wang girl, such as Rihanna, Blake Lively, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld or Freja Beha, for under $100 by facilitating his cheaper diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang.
In this age of fast-fashion, the prolific designer churns out 4 collections every year. And unlike Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, he’s not linked to LVMH. For this, Wang surely does deserve a fashion Oscars merely on merit that he has cut it alone.