This weekend New Yorkers will dress themselves up in their finest rainbow apparel, glitter, and leather harnesses and take to the streets to celebrate the biggest event to hit Manhattan’s West Village each year, the annual gay pride parade. And while the festivities are always full of show-stopping style as far as the eye can see, this year they’ll be getting a bonus high fashion surprise thanks to Alexander Wang who is teaming up with Trojan condoms on a custom parade float that urges revelers to “Protect Your Wang.” And in honor of the occasion, the designer spoke with People Style over email about why this project is near and dear to his heart, the future of athleisure, and why Bella Hadid is a fashion muse for the ages.
Wang told us that coming together with the condom brand was actually quite natural as he’s, “wanted to collaborate with Trojan for some time, and especially over Pride as it is such a celebration of love and community in New York. Trojan is an iconic brand that represents an impactful message of protection and awareness in the LGBTQ community.” He continued, “The LGBTQ community has always been something that is very close to me personally. Growing up in San Francisco gave me exposure to my first Pride celebrations and I remember feeling overwhelmed by the outpouring of acceptance, love, and unity. In New York, Pride is always one of the biggest events of the year. Now, more than ever, it is important for me to bring as much awareness as I can for the community, spreading the love and reminding people to ‘Protect Your Wang.’”
The float also feels like a logical extension of what the designer’s brand has become over the past few seasons, moving alway from a run-of-the-mill catwalk towards a full-on immersive, branded world. “I want to continue to push traditional boundaries with our events,” he says, adding however that, “I do not necessarily feel pressure to one-up myself, but rather to create unique experiences that will last with guests.”
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And in terms of the future of athleisure, a trend Wang helped achieve widespread status, the designer says, “The new urban uniform continues to evolve based on what women and men want to wear every day. I react to my friends and the way they dress, from an unexpected combination of a corset layered over a t-shirt to wearing sweatpants with a tuxedo jacket. I think the modern way to dress is all about the mix.” But at the end of the day, he adds, “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to trust my first instinct. Success can create a certain sense of comfort, but it’s important to be dynamic and to keep pushing new boundaries.”
New boundaries like that semi-sheer catsuit/boot combo he created for model of the moment Bella Hadid to wear to the Met Gala perhaps? An event he referred to as, “an incredible experience.” And while Bella may have said prior to the Victoria’s Secret show that she, “really didn’t mean to [lose weight]. Like I want boobs. I want my ass back,” Wang insists that the 20-year-old, “really is ‘the body’ of our generation.” Sounds like Elle Macpherson and Heidi Klum might want to watch their well-toned backs.
What do you think, is Bella the body of our generation? Sound off below!