There was a moment in time, in the early aughts, when dressing like Alexa Chung was a competitive sport. Back then, young girls would comb through Tumblr for photographic evidence of her “granny chic” outfits, which were often peppered with leopard print, quite a few Peter Pan collars and many chunky sweaters, often of the striped variety. They would then head to their local Forever21 or Topshop to recreate Chung’s looks, which were a careful combination of vintage finds and fresh off the runway designs.
The obsessive adoration of the model/TV presenter/journalist has barely simmered down, but now Chung is cashing in on her look, with an eponymous brand of her own. ALEXACHUNG, the new direct-to-consumer label, was rolled out last night in a church, located in the London district of St Johns Wood. Yes, the denim-clad models sauntered past pews and posed on the altar. As Vogue pointed out, it kind of felt like a wedding, especially considering the clouds of confetti that were thrown after the final look, which was a white frock constructed in delicate broderie anglaise. Was that subtle theme created to show Chung’s “’til death do her part” dedication to fashion? Or did it simply serve as yet another Tumblr-worthy event to keep the sartorial dream alive? Probably both.
However, if teens are still lusting after the notoriously funny Brit’s style, they might have a hard time becoming one of her customers, due to one small detail: price tags. The items in the first ALEXACHUNG collection certainly don’t come with fast fashion prices. Some zip front overalls are going for $445, a floral summer dress will cost you $785 and a trench coat has a price tag that exceeds $1,000.
According to Chung, those prices don’t come unwarranted. The jeans are made from pure cotton in Italy, every detail has been carefully considered and the tailoring is top-notch. As such, the direct-to-consumer label is already carried by 55 retailers; it’s also stocked on the ALEXACHUNG site. Her business employs a staff of 17, lead by managing director Edwin Bodson, a Haider Ackermann alum. The team is already full steam ahead, with plans to roll out four collections per year, and they are already working on season six.
Chung is not totally unaware that her prices might seem steep for some shoppers. “I’m sure to some it might seem expensive, to others it’ll seem reasonable—but I wanted to land it [price-wise] like an A.P.C. or See by Chloe,” she told Refinery29. “It’s a treat to yourself, but you won’t feel so guilty and like you can’t afford your rent.”
And she has no intentions to create clothing that you discard after just one wear; ALEXACHUNG, the brand, is positioning itself to become a go-to for wardrobe staples that can withstand a bit of wear and tear. “What I do want to make is lovely jumpers that will last you for a few years that you can wear or love or jeans that will make your bum look nice,” she explained to Business of Fashion.
So if you are trying to justify the purchase of a piece by your longtime fashion crush, consider either the rather affordable entry-level t-shirt…or just consider the price tag in a cost per wear format. It’s what all the “it” girls are doing.