Alexander Wang Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sadie Dodson , Reporter

When I asked my mom, wardrobe stylist and fashion aficionado, to describe Alexander Wang’s clothing, she said, “Trashy… just like him.” 

Alexander Wang is a prominent American fashion designer who is known for his urban designs and popular fashion label, which he established in 2005. Throughout his career, Wang has received many awards such as the Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2008, and was honored the ‘Fashion Star’ by Fashion Group International. However, in the midst of all of his stardom, Wang has also gotten into some major trouble. 

In 2012, Wang was sued for $50 million for allegedly running a sweatshop in Chinatown, Manhattan. According to The New York Post, he was accused of mistreating his workers by crowding them into a claustrophobic studio where they worked 16-plus-hour days. In August of 2012, this lawsuit was dismissed and Wang agreed to an undisclosed settlement. 

However, his legal troubles did not end there. On Dec. 28, 2020, Diet Prada, a “fashion industry whistleblower account,” posted a compilation of sexual allegations against Wang. The caption of this post states, “it began with Owen Mooney, a male model who came forward… in a series of TikToks describing a 2017 incident where he was groped by Wang in a packed NYC nightclub”. Mooney’s story then surfaced across many different social media platforms and accounts, prompting many others to come forward with their own stories. These stories include witness reports of Wang drugging victims or slipping them Molly and other drugs without them knowing. While these accusations weren’t the first, they are being taken much more seriously by the industry at large than ever before. 

In response to these allegations, Wang provided a statement to Vogue (also posted to his personal Instagram). He begins by thanking his supporters and followers, saying, “I have never taken advantage of others in a sexual manner or forced anything on anyone without consent.” Wang continues, stating, “it’s my priority to prove these accusations are untrue and are fueled by solely opportunistic motives.” Thus, Wang argues, like many of his supporters, that these claims were baseless, and had ulterior motives to get attention. 

Although Wang has the support of several members of the fashion industry, the victims and accusers plan to take legal action to further their cases. 

Unfortunately, Wang’s situation is not the first one seen in the fashion world. Lisa Bloom, the well-known lawyer representing many of the victims, claimed in a Vogue Magazine article, “The fashion industry is long overdue for a reckoning of its frequent, disturbing mistreatment of models.”  

There are countless stories of photographers, stylists, and those in power within the industry mistreating models. Young, aspiring models are especially vulnerable to this abuse, as they often find themselves confronted with intimidating adults who could make or break their careers. Organizations like the Model Alliance are working to bring sexual assault victims’ stories to light. Hopefully, if anything, Alexander Wang’s accusations can bring more attention to this pressing issue and help foster a new culture within the fashion industry.