After a two-year hiatus amid sexual assault allegations, luxury fashion designer Alexander Wang, 38, will make his runway return in Los Angeles’ Chinatown on April 19.
Titled “Fortune City,” Wang’s Fall 2022 collection pays homage to his Chinese American heritage.
His first namesake show since 2019, when he was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple people, the event will be hosted in partnership with the historic preservation site organization Chinatown Corporation as a celebration of Asian American history and culture. It will also feature a night market and live music, all open to the general public.
Wang made headlines in 2020 when several individuals came forward with allegations of drugging and sexual assault. In a TikTok video that went viral soon after, male model Owen Mooney described Wang as a “massive sexual predator” and accused the designer of groping him at a New York club in 2017.
Popular social media accounts such as Diet Prada and Shit Model Management also claimed to have received several messages from individuals who alleged they were groped, drugged and harassed by Wang.
Wang initially denied the allegations in January 2021, calling them “baseless” and “grotesquely false.” Two months later, he released another statement on his Instagram claiming that while he “[disagreed] on some of the details,” he would “do better” and “set a better example” as a public figure.
After the apology, Wang’s lawyer posted to Twitter that Wang had met with his accusers and was “moving forward.” She added that there would be “no further comment” on the matter.
Since then, Wang has mostly shied away from the public eye; however his brand remains relatively unfazed, with celebrities continuing to model Alexander Wang.
Since the allegations, K-pop icon CL wore a custom Alexander Wang piece, a denim cape inspired by the traditional Korean hanbok dress, for her first Met Gala in 2021. Award-winning Asian American actress Lucy Liu also worked with the brand at the end of last year as the face of Wang’s December/January resort ad campaign.
For this season, Wang shows no sign of holding back, hiring China’s favorite “auntie” model, Liang Xiaoqing, as his new muse. Liang rose to fame as a “Taobao model,” which refers to women who model for China’s largest e-commerce platform. Taobao models are known to strike multiple poses within a minute and dress in several hundred outfits a day to keep up with the number of clothes that are posted online daily. Viral videos of them show the models doing snapshot poses for just a split second or before moving their hands or arms, almost as if they were dancing.
Taobao is known for its cheap and affordable clothes, nothing like the luxury wear of Alexander Wang, most of which cost upwards of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This made Liang the most unlikely of choices, adding a sense of humor to the brand’s latest campaign.
Despite positive feedback from Chinese netizens, who were thrilled to see Liang’s familiar face represent an esteemed American brand, the comments sections on Wang’s recent Instagram posts were flooded with references to his previous sexual assault allegations.
“So I guess r*apists [sic] do try to come back after all… hope you fail Alexander, your moment has passed,” one user commented along with poop and laughing face emojis.
“So we’re gonna ignore the fact that he’s still a sex offender?” another user wrote.
Positive feedback from Chinese netizens to Wang’s pick of Liang appeared to show the brand’s potential to do well in the Chinese luxury market. Wang’s Chinese background also seems to have garnered positive reactions, in spite of his tarnished image in the States.
Featured Image via Alexander Wang (left, right)