“I wanted an image that would provoke,” Alexander Wang said, and provoke he has. Venturing in to his new denim range, Wang's new images for the campaign are somewhat controversial. Denim is an item that allows for sexy campaigns, they go hand in hand, think Calvin Klein and those iconic Kate Moss pictures, think Guess, and the blonde bombshells, and the many other topless denim campaigns we've seen. However Wang's new campaign for his newest venture into denim, has very much pushed the envelope, “Once you see it, you can’t stop thinking about it,” Wang commented. The pictures feature model Anna Ewers, who is both shot from legs down and oiled up and another image, where the jeans are half way down her legs with the the “x” from the Denim x Alexander Wang logo positioned to hide her nipples.
Wang's new denim line launched today and will be available to buy on December 8th in the Alexander Wang New York store and available online. The prices range from $225 to $295 and all the denim is manufactured in Los Angeles.
Wang's campaign wasn't without a strategy behind it, speaking from a photo studio in Brooklyn's Green Point Wang said, “It’s such an oversaturated market, as everyone knows,” Therefore a hard hitting and controversial campaign was needed. Speaking of the potential controversy, the designer said “It’s not provocative just in terms of sexy, but provocative to provoke conversation,” Wang added “I’m not dictating what that message is exactly. The interesting part is to see how people interpret it, and what they have to say about it. Of course, there are going to be people who disagree with it.”
Taking the campaign to one side, Wang entering the denim market is certainly a reflection of the brands continued growth. Rodrigo Bazan, Alexander Wang’s president, views the move into denim as another goal in the brand's expansion, “We’re going to have 21 stores by the end of this year and the more we grow, the more that we believe we have to have a lifestyle component in those stores,” continuing, “Denim was a natural expansion.” Bazan didn't discuss what they believe the potential sales projections were, focusing on it as an expansion rather than a priority over the other rtw items, and as far as concerns for the saturation within the denim market, Bazan said, “We only focus on our brand and what feels right for our brand. We did not focus on the marketplace so much, to be honest. We know what’s out there in terms of product.” Wang's rtw items, have been classics, from the Alexander Wang T's, Vests and the iconic sweatshirts and perhaps the denim line will follow suit.
Wang has taken his time with this collection, being very particular about the cut and fit. The denim range includes, The Wang 001 which Wang states is not a “skinny” jean but a slim high rise jean, also a 1 percent stretch for the two indigo washes in the collection and 2 percent for the black wash in the range. The Wang 002, is based on a classic mens fit, but cut for a women's body, and has no stretch. Finally there is the Wang 003, is the boy cut, but be careful what you call them, “We’re not calling them boyfriend jeans,” Wang said. The jean lays low and has a wider fit however is tapered at the leg. The reason, “I hate it when you roll them and your ankle is swimming, so I cut it so you roll it twice and it stays pegged.”
Wang first tipped his toe in to denim back in 2007 for his very first show, putting some distressed denim down the runway, however felt that he wasn't ready to launch the denim collection yet. “At the end of the day, you can’t really be revolutionary with denim,” Wang said “But you can go in and tweak and really find the nuances and the way to put it together.” Therefore, in order to make his stand out, Wang has spent the last two years working on the denim collection's fit and fabric.
The expansion of Wang's company in to denim doesn't end with jeans, with plans of denim separates, jean jackets as well as shorts. Also a possibility is the inclusion of men's denim down the line. However, Wang still wants to put thought behind each cut, “I don’t want us to be like, ‘OK, now we’re going to do this cut and that cut and this cut,’” he said. “Then you start losing your identity.”
With the success of Wang's other rtw items, I'm interested in seeing just how the new denim line will be received. But first off, what's your view on the campaign? Love it or hate it, it's certainly strategic, provocative, and (literally) has the Alexander Wang X stamp all over it.