Highsnobiety

Alexander Wang appears to be creeping back into fashion's good graces. On the evening of February 8, celebrities and high-profile editors attended the designer's first runway show in New York City since 11 men accused him of sexual assault.

While Wang hasn't shown in New York, the home base of his eponymous brand, since 2019, he officially returned to the runway last April, debuting his Fall/Winter 2022 collection in Los Angeles to a crowd that included Chloe Cherry, Gunna, and Noah Beck.

Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, and Amelia Gray Hamlin were among the show's A-list cast.

The designer's return to the fold sent a clear message: Celebrities were willing to forgive and forget, despite Wang's alleged misdeeds. Allegations against the designer first surfaced in December 2020, when model Owen Mooney accused Wang of groping him. Shortly after, stylist and fashion archivist David Casavant shared a similar experience with The New York Times. One week later, victims' rights lawyer Lisa Bloom announced she was representing 11 men with allegations against the designer.

After denying any wrongdoing, Wang later issued a statement promising that he "will do better." He reportedly met with his accusers, whom Bloom said "acknowledge[d] Mr. Wang’s apology." Bloom and her clients never went to court, and declined to comment on any financial settlement they may have reached with Wang.

In the wake of the scandal, a shift in Wang's marketing tactics emerged: Campaigns celebrating his Chinese identity began to supplant his brand's moody, ultra-sexy imagery of yesteryear. Posts on the label's official Instagram account championed AAPI-related causes, including a relief fund for residents and businesses displaced by a fire in New York City's Chinatown. (These posts appear to have been since deleted.) Wang positioned his FW22 runway show, held in Los Angeles' Chinatown, as a fundraiser for the neighborhood's maintenance and preservation.

Wang's sudden focus on AAPI-focused initiatives struck some as a attempt to deflect from his predatory behavior and shift attention to a cause that everyone can get behind: celebrating the Asian American community.

One year later, the designer continues to evade accountability. At his most recent show (held in Chinatown, as a press release noted), Vogue's Anna Wintour, among other editors-in-chief, sat front row alongside big-name guests including Amanda Lepore, Ming Lee Simmons, Maliibu Miitch, and Saint Jhn. Julia Fox, Gabbriette, and Sydney Carlson walked the runway.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: While glitterati may have forgotten about Wang's predatory behavior, convenient amnesia is a privilege that his accusers — and all survivors of sexual assault — don't have.

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