Dubai – MENA Herald: evian® announces its collaboration with New York based designer Alexander Wang.

2015 marks the ninth year for evian® to partner with a fashion designer on a limited edition bottle.

Wang’s design features two contrasting bottles with the brand’s barcode logo, one in black and one in white.

The purity of evian® is emphasized through clean graphics and highlighted by the play of the lines on the bottle.

The evian® x Alexander Wang bottle will be available in 2 formats: glass bottles 33cl and 75cl.

Available in the Middle East in selected hotels, cafes, restaurants and retailers from November 2015.

Born in the heart of the French Alps, among the mountains and the glaciers, the evian® water goes through a 15-year long journey to get its unique balance of mineral composition, thanks to the protection of its impermeable rocks. Naturally filtered by the glaciers’ sands, the evian® water emerges as pure as Nature crafted it.

The brand itself has always been an embodiment of a playful attitude and the “Live Young” state of mind,

a willingness to explore the wonders of our planet and open our eyes to new and inspirational experiences,

with the same sense of wonder as child’s.

Since 2008, evian® has been working every year with the world’s most prestigious designers to create

a Limited Edition bottle. Through the creative vision of artists such as Paul Smith, Jean-Paul Gaultier, KENZO or Elie Saab, each collaboration is a renewed celebration of purity and playfulness, a reinterpretation of evian®’s spirit through art and design.

Alexander Wang was born and raised in San Francisco, CA and later moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. In 2005, after two years, he pursued the launch of his own label. The collection began predominately in knitwear, represented by six unisex silhouettes. In Spring 2007, it had evolved into a full Women’s ready-to-wear line and the collection was shown for the first time on the runway in Fall 2007.

In 2008, Wang received top honors as the recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and launched his first handbag collection the same year; in 2009, he was recognized by his peers when announced the winner

of the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year. Also in 2009, Women’s T by Alexander Wang and Footwear launched, while Men’s T by Alexander Wang launched a year later. Men’s ready-to-wear launched in 2011 and Alexander Wang was acknowledged by GQ as Best Menswear Designer of the Year and by the CFDA for Best Accessory Designer that same year. In 2013, Wang was honored by the Fashion Group International, and in 2014, he is the only designer nominated in two CFDA Awards categories: Womenswear Designer of the Year and Accessories Designer of the Year.

Alexander Wang opened its first flagship store, February 2011, in SOHO, NYC. Following the NYC flagship store opening, Alexander Wang opened its second flagship store in April 2012 in Beijing, China and third in October 2013 in Tokyo’s Aoyama district. Today, Alexander Wang has over 25 stores worldwide, including its own E-Commerce site shipping to more than 50 countries. Men’s and Women’s categories offer ready-to-wear, T by Alexander Wang, handbags, footwear, small leather goods and the OBJECTS collection, a curation of personal lifestyle items, which are also sold to over 700 of the world’s leading retailers across all categories.

In its essence, the Alexander Wang brand’s sensibility is a reflection on contrasts, blending seamlessly between the refined and the imperfect. His collections have an unprecious outlook on fashion, and always reflect a sense of ease. He is renowned for his irreverent approach and for perpetually evolving and re-contextualizing the urban uniform.

In addition to designing his eponymous label, Alexander Wang is the Creative Director of Balenciaga, effective December 2012.

After 9 previous editions with major fashion names, was it a challenge to reinvent the bottle design?

Each year we face a new challenge, each designer is unique, just as the bottle they create. The creative process has to start from scratch for the collaboration to create a distinctive universe distinct to each designer.

What elements from Alexander Wang’s sensibility attracted you to partner on this edition?

The architectural and minimalistic approach he brings to his creations really caught our attention, and we were keen on working with him to see how he would envision and convey the purity of our brand.

Is the choice of a young American designer an asset for this collaboration?

Each year we try to partner with high-end designers whom our targets can relate to. It is the worldwide reputation of Alexander Wang’s values and his one-of-a-kind recognizable design that are the true assets of this collaboration.

Did his roots in New York City bring a specific vision to the design?

Indeed, the black and white color contrast that was chosen represents the evian® purity in a very New-York way.

How many prototypes were produced to reach the final design?

A little less than 10 prototypes were needed.

What plans do you have for the product launch?

Like every year, the bottle will be sold in 55 countries around the world with the unveiling of the bottles taking place on the 12th September in NYC. The launch will be supported on social media, in retail stores, and with the release of a brand new video that will showcase the new design of this year’s evian® limited edition bottle.

When will the bottles be available?

Bottles will be available as of November 2015.

How many bottles are being produced for this limited edition?

Over 1 million bottles.

How many formats from the evian® range will be developed this year?

This year, three formats of glass bottles were developed. You will find the 75cl glass bottle with the new design along with the 33cl glass bottle (available on 10 countries (Middle east, Asian markets, Mexico and Poland)). We have also developed 1.5L magnum bottles that were handmade to offer an even more exclusive declination of the Alexander Wang design on evian®.

How did the partnership with evian® come about?

I am always curious to explore design in other areas that are not related to fashion. We have previously done furniture and tech-related collaborations, but product design was a new challenge.  evian® has been a long-time partner on our runway shows, so when they approached us to collaborate more closely  this season, it felt like the right moment to take our partnership to the next level.

Did it feel natural to you to collaborate with evian®?

In my approach to fashion design I have always had an unprecious outlook, focusing on the pieces that people wear every day, and then tweaking them and elevating them to give them a distinct point of view.  evian® water is something that is truly ‘every day’.  We used linear, strong graphics to give the iconic evian® bottle our sensibility, and to create a new take on it.

What’s your expression / interpretation of Live Young?

Youth and youthfulness is not defined by age, but by your attitude, the idea of ‘living young’ reflects that. Someone asked me the other day if there is one word that defines me.  It is of course impossible to be defined by one word, but ‘energy’ is what came to mind.  I am drawn to the energy of youth, the irreverence, the drive to push boundaries. I am always thinking about the next project, the next step, and it’s that newness that excites me and energizes me.

What is the idea behind the design?

We wanted to create clean, architectural lines that have a purity and simplicity to them, and at the same time also interact with the reflection and the dynamic of the water.

The barcode logo is something that we have applied in different ways in our own collections, and we wanted to put it into a new context with this bottle.  It plays with the idea of branding; a barcode is a recognizable way of identification, and we mixed that with the Alexander Wang logo and strong graphics.

It became a kind of logo-barcode hybrid, with the lines also giving the impression that the logo is ‘dripping down.’

Why did you create two bottle designs? How do they relate?

I often work in oppositions, and by blending the lines between them.  My collections play with the duality between refinement and the imperfect, something classic tweaked in a modern way; something masculine juxtaposed by something feminine, something demure inserted with something provocative. Duality forms a friction that creates room for something new to develop, or to allow people to see it from a different perspective.

We wanted to continue this interaction of contrasts with the design of a black and a white version of the bottle.

How would you describe your creative process for this project?

My process is pretty organic based on instincts, optimism, and my personal sensibility.

For certain projects, we are of course very strategic, but to remain authentic, there always needs to be a bit of spontaneity and courage to do things organically, because it feels right at that time.

What inspired you to get into the fashion industry?

I started sketching shoes and doing fashion illustrations around six or seven years old, though I hardly remember.  That led to me picking up on fashion magazines. I was self-taught in the sense that no one handed it to me: I discovered it all on my own.  I attended Parsons School of Design in NY, and simultaneously did a few internships. Ultimately I felt I was learning more in the work place than in class.

I left Parsons to launch my first collection.  At that point, in 2005, it seemed more like an experiment; I thought I might go back to school after a sabbatical.

I worked out of my brother and sister in law’s apartment, in a curtained-off space, where I designed a very first collection of 6 unisex sweaters. Samples were delivered to my local bodega! We took them on a road-trip to visit our favorite stores.

Things developed organically, and the company grew quite quickly. I can’t quite believe that it’s been 10 years this year.

My goal when I started: I wanted to make clothes that are not defined by price point. Clothes that have design integrity, but that are also approachable and accessible. One concern with accessibility is that sometimes the design suffers, and gets watered down and generic, so you have to maintain your voice and your own point of view, which can never be compromised.