Alexander Wang - who replaced Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga - has for several years been the darling of the American media. His eponymous brand is growing internationally and has many aficionados, particularly in the USA. Now it has engaged in an exercise in communication that raises eyebrows.
Just before summer, the fans of the brand were asked to participate in an event without knowing for what brand or what they would find. They found themselves before a warehouse - and what followed was filmed by the brand and posted on YouTube.
You can see the full version at: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fashion/8996498/Alexander-Wangs-crazy-giveaway-stunt
It shows the fans of the brand behaving like savages, capable of fighting (it seems that some of them sustained injuries) for a garment, capable of amassing others like the spoils of war. What we see here is a real scene of pillage: We hear about such scenes every day –during riots (like in France at the Trocadero during the event celebrating the PSG’s victory in the football championships) or during civil wars. These are, however, the young, well-dressed people, well behaved (most of the time), that we first saw waiting calmly in the queue. In a few seconds they turned into savages. All that for free clothes! It is at all possible to walk away from this film with an optimistic view of human nature?
- Arrogance: the brand shows that its fans are capable of going to extremes to obtain the clothes it creates – and thereby implicitly shows off its power. The video showing Alexander Wang himself has something about it that reminds one of the first Apple commercial in 1984.
- Stupidity: Alexander Wang is known for his provocative approach and unconventional advertising. By organizing this event and posting the video on YouTube, the brand shows its fans for what they are: despicable. Which brand today can dare allow itself to say to its best customers: You are despicable?
The clients themselves do not come out of this unscathed. That said, it is questionable whether this will prevent them from buying Alexander Wang clothes in the future ... How about you? By the way, what does François-Henri Pinault think of it – a man who, like all men of luxury, is extremely sensitive about his reputation? Was he the one behind the withdrawal of the video?