LOS ANGELES — After penning a book on how to be an “It” girl and spawning a hashtag for her personal style on social media, Alexa Chung is showing fans how to dress just like her through a new denim collaboration with AG Adriano Goldschmied.
The former model is readying 20 stockkeeping units, ranging from overalls and denim dresses to T-shirts and jeans, for a line called Alexa Chung for AG that will hit stores in January for spring.
“The collection is inherently the missing pieces of my dream denim wardrobe, which, as ever, is predominantly inspired by a late Sixties, early Seventies aesthetic,” Chung said.
A TV personality in her native U.K., where she won the British Style Award three years in a row, Chung broke into American pop culture in 2009, when MTV aired her daytime talk show, “It’s On With Alexa Chung,” featuring guests such as Cameron Diaz and Vanessa Hudgens. Though canceled after only six months, the show helped boost Chung’s social-media status, which now boasts more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter and more than 991,000 on Instagram. It also served as a launchpad for a book titled “It”; a grunge-inspired clothing collection with J. Crew Group’s Madewell brand, and a regular spot in the front row at runway shows for Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Chanel and other fashion houses. Click Here for a Slideshow of Alexa Chung's Style >>
On a recent visit to the office of AG and its parent company, Koos Manufacturing Inc., in South Gate, Calif., Chung relished discovering that it was also the site of its 400,000-square-foot factory, run by the Ku family, steeped in the denim industry.
“I found the trip incredibly inspiring and an opportunity to learn about denim and make things I had been dreaming about finding,” Chung said.
As a street-style star who has captivated Millennials with her insouciant mix of luxury labels and vintage finds, Chung has honed a sharp eye for details. For one blouse she sketched herself, she insisted on a button facade covering the snaps. While confessing her fondness for A.P.C., Wrangler and Lee, especially their medium-blue tints, Chung also added “palest pink, cream, rusty red [and] washed army green” to her palette. She flitted between tomboy and ladylike, offering an oversize graphic sweatshirt that could also be worn as a dress, as well as a shrunken denim jacket and matching miniskirt that she said evoked “Chanel, Nineties Versace.” She also electrified a black-and-white photo of Jane Birkin with a neon yellow marker, drawing attention to what she dubbed “groupie shorts.”
Other items, juxtaposed under photos of the Sex Pistols on her inspiration board, included “skater-girl shorts,” “NYC fashion jean,” “Vivienne punk jean” and “perfect perfect HotPants,” which, in Chung’s words, are “higher-waisted than your classic and made to not show any bum.” To be sure, she also realized her limitations as a designer. Next to a sketch of a sleeveless denim oversize jacket with frayed edges, she wrote, “awful drawing.”
This is where AG, a 14-year-old brand with more than $100 million in sales, applies its expertise. Chung is AG’s latest collaborator, following a series initiated two years ago with men’s golf label Travis Mathew, celebrity stylist Cher Coulter and textile studio Liberty Art Fabrics. After sending photos and books that inspired her back and forth, Chung and AG’s creative director, Sam Ku, spent a day scouring vintage stores all over Southern California in April.
“A lot of the ideas in the collection are items that she wants or her friends want, but they can’t buy right now,” Ku said. “For someone who has never really worked in fashion, she has a keen sense of how to put a collection together and which pieces go together. Like the denim and nondenim side, it made sense going forward. She has an innate sense of style that allows her to put together ideas and pieces that work together.”
Chung’s experience in front of a camera also will come in handy for the print ads that will promote the venture. Ku declined to project sales for the collaboration, which will continue through fall 2015. He said retailers who’ve expressed interest in it include Selfridges, Net-a-porter.com and Shopbop.com. AG’s own stores and e-commerce site also will sell the pieces retailing for between $70 and $300.
If the teaser that Chung posted June 9 on her Instagram page of the forthcoming design collaboration is any indication, more than 19,000 fans who liked the photo could be turned into potential customers. “She has that sensibility that people want a part of,” Ku said.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)