Alexander Wang returns to runway after sexual misconduct allegation


Special to The Ticker

Venus Manansala

Fashion designer Alexander Wang ended his almost two-year hiatus from the runway on April 19 with his debut event celebrating Asian American culture with food, music and fashion.

The event took place in Chinatown Central Plaza in Los Angeles and was referred to as the “Fortune City.” The event was opened to the public but was limited and offered the attendees vouchers to spend on the local Chinese vendors present.

Limited edition T-shirts were also sold at the event. The proceeds went to the Los Angeles Chinatown Corporation.

This was also the first event the designer had after sexual assault allegations were made against him.

In December of 2020, the Instagram account Diet Prada made a post of victims sharing their experiences of being sexually assaulted by Wang during his after party events. Another Instagram account has also added to the conversation stating this was not the first time Wang was accused of sexual assault.

The victims who spoke up in the Instagram posts were members of the male and trans model communities. These two viral Instagram posts caused a shock of conversation all over the internet, calling out the designer for his actions behind the runway. Other victims, who chose to remain anonymous, have shared their experiences as well through these accounts.

“A number of individuals have come forward recently to raise claims against me regarding my past personal behavior,” Wang said in a statement addressing the accusations on his Instagram. “I support their right to come forward, and I’ve listened carefully to what they had to say. It was not easy for them to share their stories, and I regret acting in a way that caused them pain. While we disagree on some of the details of these personal interactions, I will set a better example and use my visibility and influence to encourage others to recognize harmful behaviors.”

The designer finished his formal statement of apology with, “Life is about learning and growth, and now that I know better, I will do better.”

Wang built his empire in the last decade by gaining recognition as a creative designer for Balenciaga, having collaborations with H&M and dressing moguls like Kim Kardashian.

Before this event, celebrities like Kylie Jenner back in September of 2021 and Rihanna just this past March continued to wear pieces from Alexander Wang, which hinted at his comeback to the runway. Many spectators have questioned his resurgence, doubting his ability to regain his once-respected status in the fashion world.

Rihanna, among other celebrities like Bella Hadid, Zoe Kravitz and Kendall Jenner who were all part of the designer’s tight-knit circle of friends, didn’t attend , according to CNN. Instead, K-pop superstar CL, Kimora Lee Simmons, BIA and Lisa Rinna among others showed support for Wang’s “Fortune City.”

The seats were filled, neon lights mimicked ones found outside restaurants and the runway covered in red fabric was ready to be walked on. Two stone lions sat on the side of the runway, adding an additional amount of luck and prosperity.

Wang is known for his edgy but relaxed style, which can still be seen in this debut collection. Over-the-knee boots made out of leather, denim and a pattern that glistened, shined and sparkled with every step on the red runway, were a staple to this collection.

Wang captured both an edgy but calm silhouette with the mixture of leather, denim and knit fabrics along with a simple color palette. Supermodel Adriana Lima walked the runway with her baby bump alongside other models like Amelia Gray with slicked-back hair,dark liner and lipstick bringing a grunge-esque aroma to the runway.

The show ended on a different, but nonetheless, strong note with a segment of only Asian female models. The models walked down wearing white garments that effortlessly wrapped and carried them through, elegantly giving a light angelic ending as a paradox to the hard edgy looks from the previous segments.