Alexander Wang, the wunderkind whose promising knitwear collection has swiftly transformed into a global lifestyle brand, is setting up shop.
On Grand Street in SoHo, to be exact, at the old Yohji Yamamoto store, which closed about a year ago. Wang's new space, which features his women's, men's, T, and accessories collections, is airy yet cozy, with a fox fur hammock hanging from the ceiling. Edon Manor's Ryan Korban designed the space, and you can see his signature in the grey marble and topiary-inspired greenery that accents the room.
As for the man himself, Wang seems exceedingly excited about this new endeavor, greeting guests enthusiastically as they arrived at yesterday's private opening.
"The idea has always been kind of burning in the back of our minds, but like every project we do, it has to feel organic. With this store, it was the perfect location," he told Fashionista. "And at a certain point, in terms of where our product was--we had accessories, we had men's, we had T--to be able to create a full lifestyle environment was important. The pieces of the puzzle came together. We banged it out in a year and a half."
Regarding the numerous Alex Wang knockoffs popping up in discount and fast fashion retailers almost daily, he's anything but bitter about it.
"I guess there's a market for it--I can't deny that!" he said. "It doesn't upset me, no. I think its actually quite flattering. But I think the customer who really believes in our product will come to us for that. For the girls who can't afford the $800 bag, she can now come to the store and buy the $50 t-shirt. Or if she wants, by the $5,000 Repossi ring with black diamonds. There's really something for everyone here.
"Knock offs are knock offs. It's the nature of doing business. It's good that you keep them at bay and you let them know that you're watching."
What's next for the Wang gang? They just wrapped up the show, after party, another collaboration with Swarovski, and the store opening. Now it's time for some fun: The Love magazine party on Monday night in London, to be exact. He says they've got something special planned, but he "doesn't want to give away too much." Well, then we're definitely going.