On Monday, the fashion world was struck by surprise when Alexander Wang announced that he would be surrendering his role as CEO of his namesake fashion brand. Lisa Gersh, the former head of Goop and more recently the CEO at the Gwyneth Paltrow-founded lifestyle brand will be fulfilling the position.
Alexander Wang created his label in 2005, but took over the role of CEO a short 15 months ago. Although he is stepping down from his business title, according to Fashionista, Mr. Wang will remain creative director and chairman of Alexander Wang, Inc.’s board of directors. Stephanie Horton will also join Alexander Wang, Inc. as the new chief strategy officer. Previously, Stephanie Horton was the chief marketing officer at Farfetch, an online fashion retail platform. There is no doubt that Gersh and Horton possess the qualified leadership skills and variety of experience to revitalized the Alexander Wang image. Mr. Wang himself stated, “Lisa and Stephanie’s diverse backgrounds in the media, lifestyle, and digital landscape will help us continue to position the business to expand into new categories and territories.”
Alexander Wang released his first womenswear collection in 2007 which brought his name into the spotlight. A year later Mr. Wang won the Vogue Fashion Fund award granting the designer $20,000 to expand his brand. His cool, downtown style won him many awards including the 2009 Swarovski Designer of the Year Award in Womenswear, the 2011 GQ Best Menswear Designer of the year, and in October 2013 Wang was recognized with the ‘Fashion Star’ awarded by Fashion Group International. Not only was Alexander Wang focusing on his own namesake brand, in 2012 Alexander Wang was appointed the role of creative director within Balenciaga, and in 2014 he collaborated with H&M to create a collection that quickly sold out among eager fashion-forward consumers. Although Wang relinquished his position at Balenciaga in 2015, the separation was not a speed bump to his success. Instead, the freedom gave the designer time to focus on his own personal collections.
Last September, Wang revealed his Spring 2018 collection. A herd of famous supermodels including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and newcomer Kaia Gerber, strutted down the runway in styles inspired by Alexander Wang’s party lifestyle. The show was a party spectacle that included tiaras with catchphrases such as “WANGOVER” and “AFTER AFTER PARTY.”
It will be interesting to see what new direction Alexander Wang takes now that he has denounced his business responsibilities and will solely focus on the creative aspect of his brand. For now, we will all have to eagerly wait to see his new collection next year.