Fashion designer Alexander Wang has returned to New York Fashion Week with his first show since being accused of sexual assault by ten different men. The allegations ranged from public groping to drugging victims with MDMA and non-consensual sexual encounters. Wang initially denied the allegations, but later met and talked with his accusers. Several of the alleged victims were represented by lawyer Lisa Bloom, and they later settled, but it is unknown if any financial arrangement resulted from the meeting.
Wang’s brand was built on his reputation as a fixture in the nightlife scene, throwing massive after-parties that included performances by Trina and Nicki Minaj. However, he has since turned his attention to building his business in China, where he now has 18 stores and has grown his revenue to $200 million annually. Despite this focus on the Chinese market, Wang is also attempting to rehabilitate his namesake label in the United States.
The recent New York Fashion Week show was not included in the official calendar from the C.F.D.A. and was not highly publicized beforehand. Models like Julia Fox and Gabriette Bechtel wore snake prints and denim on a zebra print-doused runway in a three-for-one collection made up of women’s pre-fall, fall, and a new menswear line. The show drew big names and attention from the press, with The Business of Fashion calling the presentation a “romantic return” and Anna Wintour reportedly sitting in the front row.
Wang’s return to the fashion scene raises questions about accountability in the industry. Despite the serious allegations against him, he appears to be attempting to rebuild his brand and regain his reputation in the United States. Some have criticized the fashion industry for allowing this type of behavior to go unchecked and for continuing to support designers who have been accused of sexual assault.
The return of Alexander Wang to the New York Fashion Week runway is a controversial topic, and it remains to be seen how the industry and the public will respond. The allegations against Wang are serious, and many believe that he should be held accountable for his actions. However, his show suggests that he is attempting to move on and rebuild his brand, and it remains to be seen how successful he will be in this endeavor.