Alexander Wang’s New Mission: Edgy Appeal You Can Afford

Wanting to add a little more Wang to your wardrobe? Wait six months and you’ll have the chance – and you won’t have to bleed your wallet dry to look great.

Few young designers have captured the imagination of the millennial smart-fashion set as keenly as Alexander Wang. His well-attended runway shows are decidedly A-list, exciting affairs that emanate the energy of rock concerts and thrill critics; his clothes project the subtly deconstructed brand of urbane minimalism that is desired by art students, jetsetters, and superstars alike. Most recently, his limited edition Uniqlo line attracted impressive sales from both loyal and aspiring Wang fans, while his main line’s profits jumped a staggering 60% . As his market reach broadens and deepens, Wang just may be christened the de facto Marc Jacobs for the MbMJ generation. In that light, WWD’s announcement of his timely plans to launch shoes and a basics line,  T by Alexander Wang, is inevitably welcome. Even better, we are happy to report the prices are (really) quite reasonable.

You’ll be able to get your first glimpse of Wang’s debut shoe collection during the Spring 2009 show at New York Fashion Week where they will be featured as a part of his “Miami Vice-inspired” lineup. In stores, they will retail in the $125-$250 range, competitively priced with KORS by Michael Kors and Theory‘s shoe lines. Styles will include vertiginous open-toed platforms with a twist: a thong to “make it more provocative,” says Wang. Shoes will be available at his top five stores next Spring; full distribution is expected in Fall 2009.

T by Alexander Wang will be akin to James Perse’s basics, but cut with Wang’s characteristic slinky ease and priced a shade lower(!). Tees, tanks, and shirt dresses will feature “draped and kind of wilted” fits and Wang’s acclaimed palette of neutrals and muted tones.  Did we mention all pieces will sell for under $40?!

Despite fashion’s current downward economic mobility, Alexander Wang’s modern vision has beat the odds. For him, plans for expansion couldn’t come at a better time. Runway and retail accomplishments mark Fall 2008 as Wang’s most illustrious season to date.  He has scored a lucrative shop-in-shop arrangement with  Barneys New York – his very first.  “When we saw his fall collection, we were blown away,” says Terence Bogan, vice president of women’s Co-op at Barneys New York.  Wang understands how crucial this moment in his career is. “We’re under a microscope now,” he reflects, “We have to watch our moves and make sure everything we do is right.”

Don’t worry, Alexander, all this attention simply means that we like you. We really like you.

What do you say, readers? Are you as excited about Wang’s new projects as we are?

Photo Credit: George Chinsee for WWD.

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