by Alex Fury .

Alexander Wang In Conversation

We're used to the Americans (press and department stores alike) fêting our young avant-garde designers - so it felt a little eerie when the tables turned on Tuesday night and leading young New York designer Alexander Wang came to London. Wang's approach, however, is quintessentially New York - how many young British designers, at the tender age of 25, had diversified into diffusion? Wang's insistent use of the phrase 'brand' indeed seemed almost obscene: until recently, nothing could be more anathema to the one-legged trouser school of London cool than the idea of the brand. Then again, Wang's whole reason for this British sojourn was brand-building, following the opening of the first Alexander Wang in-store boutique in Selfridges. It seems London can't get enough Wang - the designer's 'In Conversation' with esteemed journalist Colin Mc Dowell was packed with customers and industry professionals alike, and the designer stated that, after Japan, the UK is his largest international market. What is this international appeal? Wang neatly summed it up as 'super classic American sportswear' - certainly his S/S 2010 collection provided ample example of this in action, with jersey sweatshirting thumped-out with American football shoulderpads, lace-up leather batting-cage shorts and sliced-out knee-high tube socks. When asked which designers he admired, Wang turned away from Dior and Chanel as suggested by McDowell, plumping instead for Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs (with whom Wang interned prior to his studied at Parson's in New York). It was how they worked, rather that what they designed, that Wang found fascinating. Interesting, also, that amongst fashion's pantheon of greats, they are perhaps the most American of designers (a healthy head for marketing and merchandising alike). If he carries on at this current stellar trajectory, Wang may soon be joining them.

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