Date:2 OCTOBER 2023
Reference: BY AZRIN TAN
TEAM WANG design is the newest kid on the block and it's now housed in Club21 at Singapore's latest address: Como Orchard. Here, the multi hyphenate shares more about his creative process and the future of the brand
You could say that luxury streetwear label TEAM WANG design is Jackson Wang’s foray into fashion design. Yet through our conversation with the superstar-cum-business owner, it becomes apparent that there’s a much more straightforward answer than that. Spirited and free, Wang simply wants to share his vision of how he sees the world with everyone, all pretences left behind. It’s something palpably felt when he casually calls over the brand’s co-founder and his childhood friend Henry Cheung on a whim midway through our media session by way of introducing him as the label’s head of design. Be it fresh tunes or new clothes on a rack, the art is what sparks joy and grounds him as a creator but he also wishes for everyone to see it exactly for what it is. His approach to The Original 1—which he describes as a long-term line”—can be attributed to this same sentiment. “I’ve always been a person that does whatever I want, whenever I feel like it’s right for me. Long story short, TEAM WANG design has always been about knowing yourself and what your true standard of happiness is,” Wang expresses. “It’s just a collection of things that I would want to wear myself.”
Whilst he mainly pegs it as a classic line of signature silhouettes and shapes, there’s also a clear modular element to it all—the designs he decides to put out seemingly a reflection of his own experiences and the people around him. The introduction of the new children’s line within The Original 1, for one, was inspired by some of his closest friends who are now parents to their own kids.
Alongside the launch of TEAM WANG design in Club21 at Singapore’s latest address Como Orchard, the multi-hyphenate shares more about the concept behind The Original 1, what excites him creatively and the future plans for the brand, all below.
Tell us more about The Original 1.
For the past two or three years, all we did were small collections in very limited quantities but The Original 1 is the first full so-called line that we’re launching—and it’s meant to be a long-term thing. It’s a very classic line too; a lot of it goes back to our roots and is reminiscent of how we started the brand at first.
You’ve introduced a few new lines within this collection such as an athleisure line ‘TIME TO MOVE’ and ‘AWWWW’, a children’s clothing line. Can you talk more about these launches and what inspired them?
Whilst coming up with ideas for designs that I would want in the line, the idea for a children’s line was honestly inspired by my friends. They’re married and have kids and I just thought it would be very cute. As for the athleisure line? I’m just an athletic guy who enjoys sports. There’s actually also an upcoming shower collection that you can look forward to—it’s something I’m quite excited about.
What is the key message of ‘The Original 1’ and TEAM WANG design?
I’ve always been a person that does whatever I want, whenever I feel like it’s right for me. Long story short, TEAM WANG design has always been about knowing yourself and what your true standard of happiness is because we tend to lose ourselves in this society that’s always filled with distractions on social media. We often lose our centre. TEAM WANG design in totality, has always been about finding that centre and finding your own standard of happiness because everyone is different and you shouldn’t be comparing yours to anyone else’s.
Could you share more about your new space at Club21 in Como Orchard?
It’s very straightforward. Whenever we get any display or pop-up opportunities, my main aim is to share the core message of the brand. The main message is written on the wall for all to see. The ‘invisible man’ is also supposed to represent how it’s genderless and removed from anything of that sort. As for why it’s black? It’s just what I see when I close my eyes; it feels limitless.
What’s the most exciting part of the creative process?
I think the process of thinking about something, taking the time to prepare for it and actually being able to see it come to life. It’s like building a rocket and you finally see it land on a planet. And seeing people relate to the product you create—that’s like the best feeling.
On the other hand, what were the biggest challenges of creating The Original 1?
There are so many challenges. At the end of the day, you can think of as many ideas as you want, but in reality you’re working against time and logistical problems that can happen at any time. You think about whether it’s realistic to create a piece that you want and whatever plans you might think you have are also always changing.
What are your hopes for the future of TEAM WANG design?
I’ve honestly just been creating stuff that I would want to have for myself. These days, I look at my own wardrobe and see mostly TEAM WANG design. So in terms of potential designs, I really want to make underwear next. In the near future, I think I want TEAM WANG design to be focused on creating experiences. Whether it’s a pop-up display or event or party or festival, I want it to be very experiential in order to convey the message of the brand.
Personally, I don’t really treat TEAM WANG design as a business, and a lot of it is led by my gut feeling and what feels right to me. So I’m just doing what I believe in and if people can relate to that, then that’s my happiness.