Fashion designer Alexander Wang has always espoused a, “devil may care,” attitude. But now, it seems that there may have been something more sinister lurking beneath the carefree exterior. Several models who formerly worked with Wang have come forward, accusing the design world giant of sexual misconduct and assault.
Wang’s Past Behavior
Wang has always been a huge party-scene name in the fashion world. Diet Prada describes the problematic history of behavior that lends credence to the accusations against Wang; “TW: Just days after designer Alexander Wang’s birthday, where top models and celebrities celebrated the New York designer with Instagram tributes, the internet is abuzz with allegations of his predatory, substance-fueled behavior.
The designer has built his brand around a hard partying, anything goes ethos, creating ‘walk of shame’-inspired campaigns and even casting R. Kelly in his SS17 campaign. His own, almost mythic, status as a NYC party figure, has even been alluded to with models walking the runway in ‘PARTY ANIMAL’ and ‘WANGOVER’ headbands for SS18. But now, tales from behind the velvet rope are spilling out.”
The Accusations Against Wang
WWD explains, “The controversy kicked off Monday after Diet Prada picked up on a post by S–t Model Mgmt, which read, ‘Alexander Wang is an alleged sexual predator, many male models and trans models have come out and spoken about the alleged sexual abuse that Alexander Wang has inflicted upon them. It is important to show your support to these victims by unfollowing Alexander Wang and boycotting his clothing line.’
Other posts on the site allege sexual misconduct and one of the anonymous accusers claimed to have been given molly water laced with MDMA.”
Insider was able to verify the identity of two accusers, who spoke about their experiences. “Nick Ward, whose tweet detailing an alleged incident was shared in a post on Diet Prada, told Insider that Wang ‘swung his hand and grabbed’ his crotch at a DJ set in Brooklyn, New York, in 2017.
‘As he was passing, he swung, squeezed me, and kept walking,’ Ward said, speaking of Wang, who he said was with a group of people at the time. ‘They were moving pretty quickly through, so by the time I realized what happened, I just announced to my friend, ‘that guy just grabbed my dick’ and they’re all like, ‘that was Alexander Wang.’
Graphic designer Owen Mooney also accused Wang of sexual assault in a TikTok video responding to the social media platform’s popular prompt asking ‘what is your weirdest seeing a celebrity in public experience.’
‘Being sexually assaulted by one counts, right?’ he said at the beginning of the December 11 video.
In his video, Mooney goes on to say that in 2017, he was at a ‘packed’ New York club attending a performance by the rapper CupcakKe, when a man next to him started touching his leg and crotch.
‘It made me freeze completely,’ Mooney says in the video, adding that he had become separated from his friends when the alleged incident took place. Mooney said he looked to his left and saw that the man was ‘a really famous fashion designer.’
‘I just couldn’t believe he was doing that to me,’ he said.
Mooney didn’t mention Wang by name in the video but liked the top comment that said, ‘it’s Alexander Wang.’
In a follow-up video on December 13, Mooney said the commentor had named the right person, and mentioned Alexander Wang by name.”
…’With everything that has come to light, I want the focus to be on the many allegations pouring in after I shared my story,’ Mooney said in a statement he shared with Insider. ‘Although what happened to me was unacceptable, the stories being told by other victims is the reason why I have gone public.'”
Time for Accountability?
In the fashion world, sexual assault and misconduct are distressingly common. It’s exceptionally distressing when you consider how little attention these accusations garner. Male and trans models especially are often ignored, and the atmosphere of assault and predatory behavior continues.
With model agencies and advocacy groups behind them, maybe finally Wang’s victims will be heard. It’s past time for the fashion world to blow the lid off the things that happen in dark corners and hotel rooms. It’s time for healing and accountability. If nothing else, speaking out this way can help the victims realize they’re not alone and help dismantle some of the stigma around men reporting sexual assault. Wang’s representatives have so far not responded to any of the accusations.