Fashion designer and ultimate downtown cool-kid Alexander Wang opened the doors of his Manhattan home to Architectural Digest, revealing a recently refurbished – and achingly refined – space that feels worlds away from his artsy loft days.
“It was time for a grown-up apartment that had a view, separate rooms, and a little outdoor space—something more cozy and intimate,” Wang told the magazine.
His search led him to these upscale Chelsea digs in a starchitect–designed building. Upon entering the sprawling apartment, visitors pass a wall decorated with Kate Moss portraits by Gene Lemuel and a pair of sculptural R&Y Augousti tortoiseshell chairs. The focal point of the room is a rather unusual choice: a large-scale Steven Klein photo of a horse’s posterior. Wang says it’s his favourite piece because it “really gives you the first impression of the apartment and what you’re getting into.”
Longtime Wang collaborator Ryan Korban is responsible for the interiors. Wang previously partnered with Korban on his corporate office, showroom, and retail stores, as well as his last two residences. “It’s a real love/hate relationship, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Wang admitted. “It’s like working with family.”
Korban enlisted architect Lauren Crahan to help define the space. “I had a very clear vision going into this,” he said. “I wanted it to be very edited and precise and to establish what young modernity would look like. I tried to push Alex out of his comfort zone a bit but still keep that thing that he always has: the hard-ness, the dark tones, that aspect of his work that makes you stop and think and feel a little uncomfortable.”
Speaking of uncomfortable, Korban talked Wang into starting from scratch and bringing almost nothing from his former home. Instead, Korban commissioned custom pieces designed to fit the rooms, like a large shagreen desk for the office. He had less luck convincing Wang to ditch his signature black aesthetic (“I first said the theme of the project should be ‘50 shades of black,’” quipped Wang). The duo ultimately compromised by staining the floor black and using lighter neutrals elsewhere, along with an array of luxurious materials, to keep the space from getting too severe.
The result is a haute home with just the right amount of contradictions – modern but comfortable, monolithic but livable, luxe but restrained – that suits Wang to a T. Watch the designer lead AD on a personal video tour of his grown-up pad here.