This article was first published on Dazed Digital (June 2017), to view my full profile visit: http://www.dazeddigital.com/user/harrietkean
We all know that Alexander Wang knows how to party, and that he is a designer that prefers to swap the ‘runway’ for the ‘rave’ (a la his ‘No After Party AW17 Show’). But this coming Sunday (June 25), Wang is going one step further by throwing a ‘safe sex’ party on the streets of Manhattan. Noting the infinite possibilies with a name like his own, the American designer is asking you to “#ProtectYourWang” at this year’s Pride in New York.
In collaboration with Trojan condoms, Wang will open the celebrations by riding through the festival on a suggestively shaped cylinder float. Emblazoned with a gloriously unsubtle “#ProtectYourWang” slogan, the long black float will feature stripper poles, a DJ booth and no doubt members of the notorious #WangSquad. The designer is yet to confirm who these individuals will be, telling Vogue that “It’s going to be a really fun group of people.”
The float’s design is reminiscent of Wang’s famous party buses, which are ever-present throughout his campaigns. The designer stated: “Everyone knows I love a party bus”, adding that that its transparency will give an insight into Wang’s world: “Usually things are quite hidden and veiled, and the idea was just to expose everything inside. (We wanted) something where people can participate and be a little voyeuristic.”
Pride has always captivated the New York designer; after visiting San Francisco he felt as though the festival was “nothing (he’d) ever seen before”, adding that it was a “visual overload” that he fondly looks forward to. With the rights of the LGBTQ community dominating the political debates in the U.S, Pride festival has never been so important. Wang noted this significance, stating that “especially this year, it’s incredibly important to do anything I can to bring awareness to the community and spread a message of love.”
Wang admits that the plan has been in the pipeline for a while, adding that he had “reached out to Trojan last year and timing-wise we weren’t able to make it work”. However this year he was able to get back in touch, so that they could “participate in a big way with the Pride celebration.”
Despite the political connotations of Pride, Wang refuses to state that the brand is grounded in activism. He rejects the term, describing that “I feel so uncomfortable with that word; for me, it sounds so harsh.” Wang adds: “It’s more just: What can I do to help, participate, and work with people who share my beliefs? We’re together in this. We can celebrate our shared and even different points of view and learn from (each other).”
The members of the mobile party bus will wear “#ProtectYourWang” t-shirts, which were designed by Wang himself. While the #WangSquad dances around the float, they will brand people with semi-permanent tattoos and throw out free condoms. Safe sex is FUN OFC.
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