Alexa Chung On Starting Her Own Line, Empowering Women, and More

Alexa Chung On Starting Her Own Line, Empowering Women, and More

The model, DJ, it-girl, and now designer sits down with V to talk about her new collection.

The model, DJ, it-girl, and now designer sits down with V to talk about her new collection.

What was the starting point for this whole project, from production to design and what was that like?

It took a while to sort of piece it together, it happened over the course of a couple of years in terms of finding investments and then finally getting going. But then very quickly we assembled this team of people--we're now on our second office and we're about to move into our third. It kind of grew organically but in quite a speedy fashion. I couldn't believe it was a job because it just seemed really fun. Then, obviously, it got harder and harder, and the reality of it sort of seeps in, when you're denied certain buttons or this production in Portugal can't get back on time. So it was a lot—we built a website from scratch, packaging, branding, labels, swing tags, bags, everything. So, I mean, I'm grateful now that we've kind of got a base of stuff and that all the branding is in place and now we've got to keep on trucking.

So whenever you presented the collection, I'm curious as to know why you chose the church and set it to Good Vibrations, what was that whole setting? How did that work in with the line?

Well, I'm very lucky, because actually one of my best friends in life, Lucy Brown, came to work with the company in terms of all of those outward facing marketing things and we've got kind of a similar aesthetic, and we've written scripts together and stuff like that, so our first thing was we worked on that horse video with Lauren Askill and made that content to announce the brand. And that was great, because it was elevated and classic and beautiful but also kind of funny and weird, and so that sort of set the tone for what we were doing. And when it came to doing a presentation, we didn't actually intend for it to be quite as large or even a runway show at all, we wanted to do a presentation but we have never done this before so it kind of ballooned out of control, so I was like "What about a church?" and then we found one, and then we were like "What about a choir?" and then we had a few options, and then we were like "What about a children's choir?" and it just kept escalating. And then the song choices--I loved the opening lyrics to that Zombies song, "The Way I Feel Tonight."

You know, to be honest, looking at that show, it kind of has all the elements of a great fashion presentation, right? Like the church, the choir, the song, the clothes, it was really well curated, so good job.

We just thought it was sort of kind of amusing to do [the presentation] somewhere quite austere when it's so silly and celebratory, and then Good Vibrations, I texted my friend Tennessee and was like "Shit, we need another song" and she was like "Obviously Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys," and I was like "Yeah, obviously." So it really was a collaboration of minds, I was just kind of texting people I knew and being like "What do you think" and they would all give me an idea and yeah, we put it together.

I was reading the review on ManRepeller, and they said you can glance at an outfit of yours from 2009 and then look at something that you're wearing today and they're totally different yet totally still Alexa-esque. So in terms of that observation, how much of the collection, I guess, would you say is you and is your personal style, in regards to that sort of timeless compliment, you know?

I think I've always been drawn to sort of classic and perennial silhouettes, but I think it's how you juxtapose them with other stuff that makes it unique to you. So, each item isn't necessarily very me, but if I were to style it myself, it would look like clothes I would wear.

I mean I love that, it's like, from a clothing line designed by someone like you, I guess people would think since you have such a distinctive style that it would be someone like you, but I like that you put a different stylist in the middle there. That's sort of interesting–that's really smart. In terms of longevity and designers like Victoria Beckham and maybe Mary Kate & Ashley, who have sort of adopted this as who they are, their full-time job, is there anything down the line that could stop you from continuing this? Or is this really, this is the new, marrying yourself to this is the next chapter.

I mean, it's just a matter of time management and stuff, there have been projects I've turned down in the past year that I may have liked to have done but I literally can't because while this thing is still a baby, it's essentially a newborn, I feel like I can't leave it. So maybe in the future, but I think the idea is that this becomes an umbrella under which all those impulses can flourish. So if it is that I can make a film or we want to write a treatment for this or that--and one of the reasons I started this was to sort of have a home for everything, cause it was getting too fragmented and difficult to manage. I mean, maybe we'll just become a production company later down the line, but until then, just clothes.

What do you say to people who maybe weren't impressed by it or something? I mean, you read all the reviews, what would you say that you really want to make sure people understand through the clothes and the collection, and maybe didn't?

We're trying to communicate something and if you're not on the other end of that phone then it's fine, it's not for you, take a different call. There's a lot of clothes I don't like and I don't get, but that's what makes humans quite compelling ultimately is that we all have different vibes, so there's no possible way that you can please everyone. And I think that I'm lucky, probably not lucky, unlucky actually, that when you do TV, you're a personality that's on television, I'm more than accustomed to people either not getting me or thinking I'm crap at my job. So it's fine, I've lived through heavier critique in my time.

Good, and in terms of empowering women then, through the art and power of clothing, how do you think that your line might do that, for women of all sizes and different backgrounds and styles?

I think just by offering another option. I mean, I don't know how empowering the actual items are themselves, that's to do with how you interpret them and how you put them on. But we have tried to imbue everything with this sense of cool and feeling relaxed, but also having a unique visual attached to it, but I think, and I was just talking about this to someone else, making sure you're not in competition with other people, so even just starting a brand, maybe that's inspiring to someone like me, who grew up in the middle of nowhere and now gets to live in the city and gets to do their own thing just through being persistent and trying. So I think, hopefully, I'm a good role model even if my clothes aren't.

Credits: Photos Courtesy of ALEXACHUNG

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