- Vivian Hendriksz |
US designer label Alexander Wang has its sights set on bringing part of its manufacturing closer to its main markets.
In 2014, 90 percent of the label manufacturing took plan in Asia - today this amount has been dialled down to 70 percent as 30 percent of the designer's collection are currently produced in EU countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.
Part of the label's decision to manufacture its items in Europe stems from a shift in its overall approach to market as its moves away from a "contemporary" design focus to "designer," which signals a change in product design as well as production.
"We’re always looking to improve our product," said Alexander Wang in an interview with Business of Fashion. "When we push design, with design comes the resources to manufacture it — whether it’s innovative technologies in cutting materials or gluing."
The brand currently produces most of its tailoring in Italy, with a number of jersey items for T by Alexander, the younger, more affordable basic range from Alexander Wang being produced in Portugal and accessories such as shoes and handbags being made in Italy. However, as 60 to 70 percent of Alexander Wang's knitwear contains silk, the majority of this will continue to be made in Asia.
"We are looking at this as a long-term investment, so that we can work back in on our margins to support that in the long-term," said the designer, adding that the label's new manufacturing locations will no affected the retail prices of its products in any way.
However, part of the brand's decision to move part of its production to Europe is also linked to consumer perception. "I think certain consumers definitely pay attention," said Wang. "Probably an older consumer who shops a lot of different categories and has a history of the brand."