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Alexander Wang’s “Immigrant Americana” Collection is Rooted in Culture

At first glance, Alexander Wang’s fashion show in New York City Sunday may appear as an ode to metal rock, but a deeper dive into the hardcore, aggressive styling reveals a melting pot of cultural references and symbolism.

The collection, entitled “Immigrant Americana,” was inspired by a road trip Wang made with his parents, during which he learned about their experience immigrating to the U.S in 1973.

“I was inspired by them coming here and not speaking English, going to the grocery store and not knowing how to buy food, and all the jobs they had to do to build a better life for me. And taking that story and infusing it with pop culture Americana references that I grew up with, like American football, motorcycle Harley Davidson culture, and rock ’n’ roll music. And then taking Chinoiserie and my heritage and infusing it into that world. I wanted to find a new way to express inclusivity and create a new narrative of what that might look like,” Wang told Harpers Bazaar in a backstage interview.

The line mixed boxer brief-inspired biker shorts, Chinoiserie jackets and football jerseys with bolero neckties, Axl Rose bandanas, sweatpants with “Chinatown” printed down the leg and “Made in China” decals. Key denim pieces included faded jeans with deep cuffs, cut-offs worn over biker shorts and a boxy distressed denim vest. Wang closed out the show with Childish Gambino’s politically charged song, “This Is America.”

The collection—neither fall, spring or resort—was the designer’s first with new lowercase logo and streamlined branding geared toward Gen Z’s tastes. In January, Wang announced that he was shifting his show schedule from the traditional September/February calendar to June/December. The collection will hit retail in September.

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