Alexander Wang Aims to Build a Legacy for Resort 2025 and Beyond

Alexander Wang is back, again.

The designer returned to New York staging an intimate show at his SoHo boutique, rebranded as the Garage. Walking in, guests didn’t know what to expect but inside, a mix of car memorabilia and oddities set the vibe: tire tables with glass tops, slices of cars jutting out of the walls, music speaker stacks, tanning beds and indiscriminate stacks of money throughout the smoky room.

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Before the models came, the Wang social media team was making their way through the space doing interviews for potential viral moments, asking guests about their first cars or how they might hitchhike.

Wang is about to mark 20 years in business, after weathering sexual assault allegations and controversy Stateside and seeing rapid retail growth in China, but he is still chasing youth culture.

“The Garage was really inspired by this pervasive narrative of legacy and American grandeur, reinterpreted through our lens,” Wang said via email about the setup. “Hybridizing the rugged, upcycled material world of automotive culture and aristocratic opulence set the stage for this multicollection story, which was more of a conservation amongst our brand codes and the legacy that we’ve built.”

While curated, the runway included looks from resort 2025, pre-fall and spring 2024 with not a huge distinction between the three. The throughline was most definitely his Ricco bag, the contemporary version of the Rocco, the ubiquitous “It” bag with studs circa 2009 that is a major part of his brand legacy. The new version already sold out quickly and he is looking to capitalize on the moment; just about every model carried a version.

“Alongside the brand, I’ve grown up a lot and my life looks a lot different than what it was, like a lot of my customers,” Wang said. “This unisex silhouette offers a universal appeal with its versatile features. For me, the Ricco demonstrates a sense of timefulness over timelessness.”

Pushing the idea further, the first section of looks took the iconic studs and covered everything, including jackets, pants, shoes, earrings, necklaces and even headpieces. Studs on studs on studs.

Next came several denim ideas, wide-leg patched pants, ripped super short-shorts, slashed and deconstructed jackets — all of it styled with thigh-high leather boots resembling shin guards, also hallmarks from the past, but renewed. There was also charcoal-colored sweatshirts, hoodies and oversized outwear, and origami leather folded dresses with white shirting details.

On the runway was a bit of performance art, with models charging their phones and chitchatting. One stopped in front of a fan, writhing about until the finale when Wang squad member Omahyra, wearing a white bandage cutout dress like a downtown fashion mummy, stomped past front row guests Ice Spice, Tinashe, Honey Dijon and Kim Catrall.

Wang broke a glass table as he took his bows, which felt like a moment of defiance to would-be detractors. Still, the American fashion landscape has changed since his heyday. Now, there are a lot of brands forming authentic community — something he was once known for — and the jury is still out if he can once again build the community of cool he once reigned.

Launch Gallery: Alexander Wang Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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