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Special Issue
WWDStyle issue 03/01/2011


When Alexander Wang celebrated the opening of his store on Feb. 15, he also made another big debut of sorts: the launch of his Twitter account. “Lauryn Hill is about to go onstage,” was the inaugural tweet that night. For a designer so plugged into what’s new, it’s a bit shocking that he waited this long. But after noticing — and shutting down — a bunch of fake Twitter accounts under his name, Wang finally took the plunge himself. “I thought, we might as well sign up,” he remarked.

And beginning today, expect even more behind-the-scenes access when Wang relaunches his Web site (above), taking it from straightforward to full-on interactive. “We wanted to make our digital world much more engaging for our customer,” said the designer, who tapped online design firm Createthe Group, whose client roster includes Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Gucci, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein. “The look is still clean and graphic, but not as minimal as before. It’s definitely more layered.”

This story first appeared in the March 1, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In addition to a Collections page (a virtual look book of past and current designs) and a beefed-up e-commerce area (which now sells ready-to-wear, accessories and the T collection for men and women, and will soon go international), the Web site includes a splashy Studio section that will feature a range of special content, from in-house editorials to video campaigns to the story behind, for example, his first in-house print this season. (It’s comprised of random doodles and inside jokes written and drawn by his staff and interns.) Other content will consist of behind-the-scenes documentaries and flash-back moments — “like, videos from the old days when I was working out of my apartment,” explained Wang — as well as a series of model confessionals. The latter kicks off with Britt Maren, who was filmed before, during and after Wang’s spring show. “It’s fittings, hair and makeup from her point of view and follows her around the city,” he said. “We lent her a Flip camera to film moments from home, too.”

But perhaps the buzziest of elements here is Wang’s collaboration with Terence Koh. The designer tapped the artist to create a special mask for the models to wear while being shot for the e-commerce section. “You usually see their heads cut off because of usage rights,” Wang explained. “We thought, let’s get creative with this so we can shield the identity but at the same time, tell the story of the collection.” Inspired by spring’s buoyant vibe, Koh created a fluorescent halo to conceal their faces with a faint glow. “It’s having fun with these mundane, everyday things,” said Wang, who plans to enlist different artists each season.

In two weeks, the designer will unveil yet another collaborative project that combines his recent brick-and-mortar launch with the revamped Web site. He made a video diary, filmed by Gregory Harris, of Vogue Nippon editor Anna Dello Russo’s experience in Wang’s new flagship. What began as a simple taping of her editor’s picks turned into a full-on editorial — Wang and Dello Russo played sales associates and camped around as mannequins in the store windows. “There’s humor behind the site, of course,” said Wang.

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