Alexander Wang is creative director of the eponymous label he launched in 2005, aged 19. Wang became creative director of Balenciaga in December 2012, succeeding Nicolas Ghesquière at the storied French house. In July 2015, it was announced that Balenciaga and Kering decided not to renew the American designer's contract.
Wang’s foray into fashion began after he dropped out of the Parsons School of Design in 2004 to start his own label, initially creating a knitwear collection based on six unisex silhouettes. Wang was supported in his venture by his family: his brother is chief financial advisor, his sister-in-law acts as chief principal officer, and the designer was also able to utilise family connections to source production from China. His label soon evolved into a sleek, but fully realised women’s ready-to-wear collection; Wang debuted his first runway collection for Autumn/Winter 2007 at New York Fashion Week.
The response was immediate. Anna Wintour, a key supporter, soon mobilised her influence to bring attention to the young designer. In 2008, Wang received the top award from the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund, a sum of $200,000. In 2009, he was announced as the winner of the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year, and as the winner of the Swiss Textiles Award.
Alexander Wang now produces both men’s and women’s collections, diffusion line T by Alexander Wang for men and women, footwear, and accessories. In 2011, Wang’s entry into menswear was noted by GQ, who named him Best Menswear Designer. In the same year, he won the CFDA Award for Best Accessory Designer. Wang’s aesthetic remains true throughout his various lines, and has inspired an entire generation of women to dress in his "off duty model" looks.
Wang’s first Balenciaga runway show for Autumn/Winter 2013 was positively received, despite having faced scepticism about his ability to fill Nicolas Ghesquière's big shoes.
Wang’s meteoric ascent through fashion’s rank and file hails him not only as the poster boy of fashion’s new establishment, but as one of fashion’s greatest sensations so far this century.