SHANGHAI — Jackson Wang is thought for a lot of issues. He’s an Asian pop phenomenon, a jokester TV host, and a polyglot who can swap between 4 languages.
When it involves trend, his most high-profile undertaking is as ambassador for Fendi. But when he sits down to speak with WWD, it’s to debate Team Wang, the style life-style model that he based along with his childhood good friend and former schoolmate, Henry Cheung.
The label was born this time a yr in the past within the midst of the pandemic, which partially explains why – whereas not solely low-profile – the model is extra below the radar than his different pursuits. Wang’s success as a musician towers over something he touches.
The singer final week launched a brand new tune “California,” one of many many initiatives that has stored him on the highway. When he steps into the Team Wang workplace in Xintiandi, it’s the primary time he’s seen the house after the enterprise moved to accommodate his increasing workforce.
Now a yr outdated, Team Wang has up to now stored a restricted distribution. It might be purchased by way of Wechat and it has partnered with platforms together with Farfetch and StockX, however has but to be bought by way of any main Chinese ecommerce platform.
One of the benefits to being a celebrity-backed model is that it may generate visitors with out forking over the hefty charges to get placement on a market algorithm. Instead, Team Wang has relied on buzz from their very own guerilla pop-up shops and collaborations like its newest one with Palm Angels.
The model labored with Francesco Ragazzi to launch an eight-piece assortment that coincided with Team Wang’s first anniversary. The designs characteristic Palm Angels’ signature palm tree motif whereas additionally incorporating Chinese classical artwork components in its ink-like brush strokes and full moon.
“We were friends at first and I was wearing one of his products one day and then we DM-ed each other,” stated Wang, who acts as designer and inventive director of Team Wang. Chats over Instagram for a couple of months finally led to the collaboration achieved solely digitally whereas COVID-19 made journey troublesome.
Like the principle Team Wang line, the capsule merchandise are black and white solely. While the unique use of monochrome can appear sobering at first, it represents the final word expression of inventive freedom to Wang.
“[The black is about having] no boundaries and you can’t see the limit,” he stated. “It’s like closing my eyes, it’s dark. I can go anywhere. I can fly anywhere. I don’t know where my limit is. It just feels like that.”
While which may be the case creatively, Wang has Cheung because the ceo of the model to assist set a course, and a few business boundaries.
“Jackson, he doesn’t really pay attention to the money side, he doesn’t care. He just wants to output high-quality, high-performance stuff,” stated Cheung.
Wang had an preliminary thought to create a wine fridge as a “sparkles” merchandise. (The assortment is broadly divided into two classes: “cookies” being the core trend merchandise, and “sparkles” being the novelty gadgets.)
Cheung reined him in, given the difficulties of manufacturing an digital product with various voltage internationally, and the 2 landed on a trolley cart as a substitute, just like those utilized by flight attendants. While placing a stability is usually a troublesome at instances, the 2 have greater than a decade of friendship to lean again on.
When requested the place his long run imaginative and prescient for the model lies, Wang answered: “How many stores or how many people wearing it – it’s not our final goal. I think what we’re trying to achieve is the image when people talk about Team Wang … whether it is fashion products or music or art. It’s something that’s cool, that they’re doing crazy stuff … that’s fresh.”
Cheung added: “I think the main purpose for creating Team Wang is really helping others to raise their self awareness that’s the key message we want to send.”
Right now, the individuals shopping for Team Wang are typically Wang’s music followers, however the two are hoping that the label will outgrow his superstar over time.
“We try really hard to differentiate Jackson and Team Wang,” Cheung stated. “Team Wang itself is a lifestyle brand.”
“I also have the thought that maybe after thirty or forty years, I wish [that] people don’t know about me,” stated Wang. “They know Team Wang more than they know me. ‘I know Team Wang but Jackson, who is Jackson?’ That would be amazing.”
Watch the interview right here: