In Summary
  • "The old method isn't working anymore and everyone has to find their own way of interpreting that," he said. "Everyone is allowed to try different things. It's acceptable to be disruptive."
  • That's how he sees his new collaboration with Bulgari: a new definition of luxury, which evolves to remain relevant.
  • "If this (collaboration) was done maybe 10 years ago, it would have raised a few more eyebrows," Wang said, "But today, it's accepted that two very different brands can talk together."

American designer Alexander Wang is showing his line when he wants, not when Planet Fashion schedules a series of catwalk shows. He has launched a new handbag collection with luxury label Bulgari.

The style wunderkind-turned-industry power player, who is based in New York, says he feels "very liberated" in a world where reinvention is part of the game.

"I'm actually very excited that our industry is changing so quickly," the 35-year-old Wang told AFP. "It pushes you to try new things and to step outside your comfort zone."

Wang has been a staple of the fashion landscape for nearly 15 years. He launched his brand at age 21 and unveiled a complete womenswear collection two years later.

"I always say that I take my work very seriously but I don't take myself very seriously," he said in an interview. "It's crazy how fast time has passed. I still feel like every day is like when I first started."

But since last year, the California native -- who did a stint as the lead designer for Balenciaga -- has bucked the system, showing his work in June and December, each time about three months before the regular Fashion Week shows.

"The old method isn't working anymore and everyone has to find their own way of interpreting that," he said. "Everyone is allowed to try different things. It's acceptable to be disruptive."

That's how he sees his new collaboration with Bulgari: a new definition of luxury, which evolves to remain relevant.

"If this (collaboration) was done maybe 10 years ago, it would have raised a few more eyebrows," Wang said, "But today, it's accepted that two very different brands can talk together."

Wang, easily recognisable with his mane of long jet-black hair, has created a line of handbags for Bulgari, the Italian jewellery brand that has gradually expanded into watch-making, accessories and hotels.

The limited-edition collection, which will formally launch on September 23, is a reinterpretation of the snakehead-adorned Serpenti line first launched in 2012.

Wang said his work on the collection began during a trip to Rome, when he visited the Bulgari archives to see the original Serpenti pieces.

"What was this customer about?" he asked himself.

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