Alexander Wang is pulling a Christopher Bailey. Effective immediately, the designer and founder of his namesake label will also take on the roles of CEO and chairman while remaining creative director.
He succeeds his sister-in-law Aimee Wang and his mother Yin Wang, who held the positions of CEO and chairman, respectively, and with whom Alex founded the company 11 years ago along with his brother, Dennis Wang. Both Aimee and Yin are stepping down, but will remain board members and shareholders.
Though, as they step down, another family member is coming on board: Alex's aunt Caroline Wang has been appointed executive vice chairman. Coming from IBM, she brings 30 years of experience in information technology.
The company has also made a hire from outside of the family, though she fittingly happens to have their same last name: Mary Wang, formerly president of the DKNY brand, joins as executive vice president. These hires follow the departure of Rodrigo Bazan, who left his role as president of the company to join Thom Browne in May.
Of course, Wang's decision to take on three roles is the biggest news. As you'll recall, the designer left his post as creative director of Balenciaga last fall to focus on the growth of his brand.
"I want to thank my family, Ying, and Aimie for their tireless efforts toward building the business we have today," Alex said in a statement. "The business side has always come naturally to me, and with my full-time return to New York, I want to focus on my brand’s strategic growth. Now is the right time to fully synchronize the creative and business aspects of the company and to continue strengthening the dialogue we have with our customers. It has always been my goal to create brand value, and to be a brand with integrity and purpose."
It's no surprise to hear that Wang has an affinity for the business side of things, given the consistent clarity of his brand messaging and the rapid success he's had across several categories relative to his peers. His ability to marry that with a strong creative vision and a famously fun, energetic persona has proven invaluable — and that's something we hope he'll be able to maintain while taking on this extra responsibility. Though, with an experienced team to support him, we doubt it will be an issue.
Wang follows in the footsteps of men like Burberry's Christopher Bailey and Ralph Lauren, both of whom have held the business and creative reigns at their respective brands, though Ralph Lauren stepped down from his CEO role last year.