Just last year CFDA favorite Alexander Wang launched a cotton-centric line called T by Alexander Wang that focused on basic jersey tees and t-shirt dresses. Now, overnight, the designer seems to be fully embracing diffusion fashion with his FW10 collection for this lower-priced line. He’s branching out beyond basics, adding “slouchy wool blazers and skinny pants, denim jackets, leggings with leather piping, zip-up dresses and hooded ponchos, not to mention plenty of knits,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. The latter will cover sweaters, scarves and hipster favorite: beanies. Also in the mix: lingerie that includes bras with velvet accents (which blanketed his FW10 namesake runway). In other words, this is no longer a capsule collection but a formidable, all-encompassing collection of cheaper Wang wares.
“T is priced at $38 to $107 wholesale, versus the Alexander Wang range of $120 to $350,” says WWD of the difference in price point (that once marked to retail can anywhere from double to triple wholesale price tags). Wang isn’t the only young designer to add a full-fledged lower-priced line into his repertoire these past few months. Zac Posen is doing so with Z Spoke. And Christopher Kane is following suit via Versace’s diffusion line Versus.
Meanwhile, Rad Hourani launched his own inexpensive collection option last summer; while Alice Temperly of Temperly London just announced she’ll launch her own as well. The more diffusion fashion that pops up, not to mention the success of online sample sales, are throwing fashion’s age-old structure on its head. Thus, the question becomes: if you can score Wang’s designs for under $200 both discounted and by way of his diffusion line, why ever pay full-price again?