This article originally appeared on Vogue Business. To receive the Vogue Business newsletter, sign up here.
Alexander Wang has secured his first-ever outside investment, a significant move for his hitherto family-owned brand as it attempts to recover from sexual assault allegations made against the designer in 2020.
The deal has been in the works since just before the pandemic and is now coming together despite the impact of the allegations. Wang has confirmed the undisclosed minority investment from two China-based entities: venture capital fund Challenjers Capital and Youngor Group, an institutional investor whose main activities are clothes manufacturing and property development.
Once the hottest ticket at New York Fashion Week, whose edgy, androgynous designs won him the coveted role of creative director at Balenciaga in 2012, Wang has been dogged by controversy. He is hoping the fresh influx of resources the deal unleashes, alongside a matured design aesthetic that draws more heavily on his cultural heritage, will propel the brand he launched in 2005 to new, global heights.
The investment will be used to support the brand’s rehabilitation efforts, which began with a comeback runway show in Los Angeles in April. Wang projects that the funding, along with the external expertise that accompanies it, will help to double the company’s revenue within five years — it currently turns over $200 million annually, he says.
After initially dismissing the multiple allegations made against him in 2020 and 2021 as “false, fabricated and mostly anonymous”, Wang later met with his accusers and issued a statement that said: “I regret acting in a way that caused them pain.” He vowed to “do better”. The accusers’ lawyer, Lisa Bloom, subsequently released a statement on Twitter to say they acknowledged Wang’s apology and were “moving forward”.
Speaking with Vogue Business via Zoom, Wang concedes: “When this occurred, I was very confused by it all… I was angry… and responded poorly.” Reflecting, he adds: “What I’ve learned is how much responsibility I have. It was a tremendous learning, to have a greater sensitivity and a greater awareness.”
Nearly 18 months later, can this new investment help push Wang’s brand beyond that darkest moment in its history?