Alexander Wang Talks Shoes for H&M

All-black everything is the tone of Alexander Wang’s new collection for H&M. The designer, who is the first American talent to partner with the Swedish company, held a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the top-secret launch.

While past collaborators have pulled from their archives in a greatest-hits medley for the masses, Wang took a different path:

“The approach to this had to be something different. How do we excite the consumer again? It was important for me to not reintroduce things from the past but have a new statement to offer,” he said.

“One of the ideas was performance wear and activewear,” he explained. “[H&M] hasn’t done this before in its designer collaborations. It’s a genre of clothing that’s not discriminatory by price point, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a luxury customer or a mass customer … Everyone has use for these pieces.”

Wang, who is often seen in a black T-shirt and jeans, said he only riffed on two items — his ubiquitous top and the Freya boot from 2010 — for this line.

“I started thinking about the components we wanted to have, and about the [fashion show] as well, because I love having options. I looked at a lot of different heel heights and insoles as well as lug boots. [With the Freya], there was this total use of neoprene and aqua zips. When we got into it, we decided to refresh it with an aqua sock with a welded zipper — it just felt obvious to do. I thought, ‘Well, that’s perfect.'”

The collection also includes lace-up stilettos, perforated heels, ‘scuba boots’ and boxing-style men’s shoes for a look that’s slick, city and sporty.

“I love this idea of sports at night,” Wang said, hinting at what’s to come in tonight’s fashion show. Stay tuned to FN for more updates.

The collection is available in stores from Nov. 6.

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