What Happened: Alexander Wang will present his Pre-Fall 2021 Collection through a short film called Sisters. The film aims to tell the story of three powerful, diverse Asian women, played by Ashley Wang (Princess), Yoa Mizuno (Warrior), and Piya Chitsmaran (Mentor). These characters also echo the innovative sales strategy: three monthly drops will gradually reveal the collection released from June to August on the website and social channels. So far, the campaign teaser has only had 3,000 views; however, the brand has a much larger social reach, with 226,000 followers on Weibo.
The Jing Take: Earlier this year, numerous allegations of sexual assault broke against the brand’s founder Alexander Wang. While Wang denied the allegations, he also issued an apology and publicly stated that he met with the individuals who came forward. Since then, Wang has kept a low profile.
So far, Wang’s issues seem to have mostly missed China’s ears. However, the brand has another set of challenges in the market. With eight stores and high-profile stockists to satisfy, the brand’s casting seems like a missed opportunity to galvanize some home attention, as the three leads are not heroines in China. Yet, the label does have a cohort of local celebrities and directional KOLS around it; recently it was seen on actresses like Zhang Tian’ai and Uighur superstar Dilraba Dilmurat, as well as stylist Mia Kong.
And despite the campaigns’ limited views in China, netizens’ reactions to the film have been overwhelmingly positive. Given his heritage, and in light of the startling upsurge in anti-Asian hate crimes and sentiment, Wang’s endorsement of strong and diverse Asian women resonates. Likewise, the thematic tease-drop of styles is likely to intrigue China’s fashion-forward consumers. But, will the brand be able to put its controversy behind it and sail back to icon status?
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.