Designer Spotlight: Sharon Wang

Designer Spotlight: Sharon Wang

In a new column for V, Mathias Rosenzweig highlights up and coming designers to know now. Here, New York City's Sharon Wang who blends colonial accent with contemporary silhouettes

In a new column for V, Mathias Rosenzweig highlights up and coming designers to know now. Here, New York City's Sharon Wang who blends colonial accent with contemporary silhouettes

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

Many of the past emerging designers that we've spotlighted have had some correlation to Parsons School of Design, which is simply because the establishment produces so much promising talent. Sharon Yumeng Wang is no exception, having graduated in 2013 after industry bigwigs selected her thesis to be featured in the school’s annual runway show. She launched her eponymous label, truncated to Sharon Wang, the same year, which quickly made its way into high-end editorial features in publications like Vogue Japan.

Wang renews each collection with a fresh set of custom, full body prints, often contrasting charming pastels with darker shades as backdrops. Her recent collection also has a colonial flair to it, featuring droopy ruffles on sleeves, and even hyping up the current choker trend by adding ruffles around the neck. We spoke to the exciting new talent about how her mother inspired her fashion sense, favorite fall outfits, and why precision is key for designing.

When and why did you decide to become a fashion designer? 

Growing up, I’d watch my mom get dressed and loved to play dress up in her closet. I always loved clothing. But [in the ninth grade], in English class, I wrote that I wanted to be a fashion designer for the first time when everyone thought I was just being silly.

How did you actually go about learning how to design and turn your designs into realities? 

From my study at Parsons, as well as interning. But I learned the most after I started my own brand. I had to deal with every aspect of the process and solving problems. There are so many things in the industry that you just don't learn from school, but school is still fundamental.

What are the greatest sources of inspiration for your line? 

My mother. This may sound cliché, but she baby-stepped me into the world of clothing. My brand started off from my perspective of designing something that can be shared between mother and daughter. Even though we are years apart, we share clothes and have similar aesthetics.

If you could have anyone be the face of your line, who would it be? 

It’s hard to limit to one particular face. For each collection, it’s a different person, providing a different vantage point. The faces for my line change and evolve from one to another.

What movie, music video, TV show, etc. had the best fashion? 

In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-wai, Elvira in Scarface and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

What's your go-to outfit for the fall? 

Anything velvet, as well as mini skirts and long jackets. I would go for the cotton velvet pieces from my Fall/Winter collection and pair them with a choker or a skinny scarf.

Why do you think fashion is important? 

It is an art form we live in. I see it as a persons' appreciation of life.

What's a difficult part of your job that most people don't know about? 

How little things can effect the final result. One-eighth of an inch on a pattern can be totally off in the end; every stitch counts. Communication is crucial.

What's the most rewarding part of your job? 

Seeing the whole collection come together. It makes up for everything.

Where would you like yourself and your line to be in five years? 

I would love to tap into accessories. Hopefully, I could have the possibility of expanding to that in five years.

If you weren't designing clothing, what would you be doing? 

Interior design, for sure. It is still a great passion of mine. I read interior design magazines and books for leisure and collect vintage furniture and home accessories, too.

How do you define success? 

Doing things you love or are passionate about, having a group of great friends sharing the same values in life, and of course knowing your family’s got your back.

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