Alexander Wang for H&M
Esquire: How have you tailored your high-end brand for the high street with this collection? Did you have to compromise anywhere?
Alexander Wang: When H&M invited us to be their 10th anniversary guest designer, and to be the first American brand to join their roster, I was extremely honored and excited to take part. I had a very clear idea what I wanted to do. They have done very strong archive-based collaborations. I wanted to relook at the nature of their collaborations and to design new items, exclusive to this collaboration. H&M have been such great partners. They’re open to new ideas and pushing the boundaries. I wanted to utilize a lot of new techniques and fabrics with this collection, and H&M gave us the creative freedom to do this.
Esquire: What is your highlight of the collection?
Alexander Wang: For me, functionality is important, especially in this collection. The majority of the collection is made from quick dry, breathable, water repellent and wind proof fabrics constructed to be worn every day and to protect from the elements of an urban environment, such as the seamless welded parka. And techniques such as bonding, welding and foam injection treatments in select items.
Esquire: What is it about sportswear that inspires you so much?
Alexander Wang: This collection is based on performance and sportswear. I’ve always been inspired and intrigued by the make and technology of sportswear, and the advancements in how performance clothing is constructed. The pieces really have to outlast and outperform, because they’re catering to the body in its most active state.
Esquire: What’s the secret to wearing sportswear for casual (i.e not in the gym). What should men avoid?
Alexander Wang: Fashion gives men an outlet for expression and should be fun. Your wardrobe is something that should evolve over time to include a mix of pieces. Sportswear pieces are part of the everyday uniform, which are to be worn on the street and not just for working out.
Esquire: Who, what type of man, did you have in mind when you were designing this collection?
Alexander Wang: What I love about design is re-contextualising wardrobe staples. It’s taking things you know, like the parka, running tank and shorts, and giving new meaning to them.