Alexander Wang is a fashion designer whose clothes are worn by the world's top models and celebrities. Wang discussed lessons from his career in an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success."
From 2012 to 2015 Wang ran his label while simultaneously serving as Balenciaga's creative director in Paris. After that, he spent a year as CEO of his company. He considers those experiences like graduate school and business school, respectively. He said that for every decision he and his team make, they consider business and creativity inextricably linked.
The following is a transcript of the video:
Richard Feloni: How do you know how to balance your time and your energy into the business side of things with the creative side of things? How do you figure that out?
Alexander Wang: It's funny you asked that because I was thinking about this and I don't know if it's just being Chinese! Not to say not that like... I always really think about the business aspect tied into the creative decisions. I always say to my team, we as a brand and in our culture, we always try to apply creative thinking to business decisions and business acumen to the creative process. And I really flip that back and forth in every project that I work on.
I think about the big picture when I work on a collaboration or I work on any kind of partnership. I'm always thinking, "OK, what is the end objective? What are we trying to create? What's the concept? Who is the customer profile? What's the price point? What's the distribution model?"
I'm not just being like, "OK, I'm going to design this T-shirt and then I'm going to give it to them and then have them figure it out." That's never been the way that I work. And I think that was probably also one of the reasons why my time in Paris was difficult because in those kinds of structures you are put a bit into a box. Where I was not used to being in a box, I was very much used to being part of the whole conversation. And so, yeah, I always think about a project from beginning to end.