Alexander ditches the original New York Fashion Week calendar when he took to a rooftop at South Street Seaport to embark on his new chapter on June 3rd.
His first show in his new chapter ‘Collection 1,’ the designer presented his own version of “Immigrant Americana,” which included Axl Rose-inspired bandanas, and references to Chinatown.
According to a 2018 Harper’s Bazaar report, Wang’s inspiration came from more of a personal standpoint rather than political. The collection was inspired by his parents, who immigrated to the country in 1973. Though they’ve been separated for 20 years, the designer reunited the two of them recently for a Californian road trip where he asked about their immigration story.
“I was inspired by them coming here and not speaking English, going to the grocery store and not knowing how to buy food, and all the jobs they had to do to build a better life for me. And taking that story and infusing it with pop culture Americana references that I grew up with like American football, motorcycle Harley Davidson culture, and rock ’n’ roll music. And then taking Chinoiserie and my heritage and infusing it into that world. I wanted to find a new way to express inclusivity and create a new narrative of what that might look like,” Wang said backstage after the show.
According to a 2018 Elle report, To really drive home his lived experience (#WANGUSA, per Wang’s Instagram), some models had a graphic painted on their faces that resembled the stars and stripes of the American flag, while others wore bedazzled face masks, perhaps a nod to his Taiwanese heritage.
To make the collection even more special, June 3rd marked the first time the designer’s dad attended one of his runway shows. Of course, he was decked out in head-to-toe Wang logo for the occasion.