After collaborating with Madewell, AG, Superga, Marks and Spencer and beauty brand Eyeko, fashion industry "it" girl Alexa Chung is trying her hand at creative direction. The 33-year old New York-based Brit announced last summer that she would launch a ready-to-wear line under her own name. Making its debut on Tuesday evening, Alexachung takes the form of an “advanced-contemporary brand” that includes women's ready-to-wear (denim, daywear and eveningwear), accessories (think: shoes and jewelry), and "permanents," which Chung describes as "daily luxuries."
The debut collection, itself, consists of 150 pieces and hits Style.com, as well as Chung's new e-commerce site that will feature a mix of retail and editorial content, on Wednesday.
As for how Chung, who got her start as a model at age 15, parlayed her fashion industry appeal into a collection, 10 years of collaborating with other brands helps, as does the ability to hire a team to do most of the design grunt work (which is perfectly common for most figures that are not formally trained designers). Chung oversees a six-person design team, with former head of atelier at Haider Ackermann, Edwin Bodson, serving as the label's managing director.
It is also fair to assume that Chung's name and her coveted personal style will serve as significant selling points, as well. She has a proven track record as an influencer, after all. As the Wall Street Journal's Zoe Wolff notes, "In the pantheon of fashion celebrities, few can inspire women to buy clothes based on their personal style like Chung can. Her 2.7 million Instagram followers hang on her every outfit, whether it’s geek chic or glamorous."
With a loyal following at hand and a sense of esteem in the eyes of those followers in terms of having her finger on the fashion/style pulse, why not capitalize on it? Brands tap influencers like Chung to do it all the time; now she will do it on her own terms.
As for why she wanted to branch out on her own, “I feel as though I’m kind of prepared to do it now. If it had been any time sooner than this, I either wouldn’t be responsible enough or have been able to take on this kind of feat,” Chung told Business of Fashion last July. “I just wanted the freedom to sort of make my own world, without someone else’s brand’s brief to stick to. That was so fun, but there are certain boundaries that come with doing something on behalf of someone else, (you) kind of have to keep within their design remit.”