If you were a guest in Alexander Wang's home, a 2,200-square-foot Tribeca loft, you could sit on all kinds of things — which is something you can't say about the average New York apartment that probably has only, like, two chairs or a love seat if you're lucky. But not chez Wang, where you might sit on crocodile, goat hair, or fox fur. Former New York Times style editor Holly Brubach sold Wang the space and recently went back to see what he's done with the $2 million investment and write about it for W.
Standing in the place where my pantry used to be, I took in the scene: white walls, black velvet couch, black Karl Springer coffee table, black crocodile dining chairs, black Serge Mouille floor lamps, a pair of chairs covered in black goat fur, zebra rugs, a black fox throw.
This is not Brubach's style — partly because it's not a style, it's a "language":
Accompanied by his decorator, Ryan Korban, Wang led me on a tour. This loft, they claim, is the most personal expression so far of the visual “language” the pair have formulated over the course of five years and two apartments, Wang’s showroom and first store, and the shop-within-shops that serve as worldwide outposts for his brand. “Very rich, very luxe” is Korban’s verdict on the result.
Basically, it's the furniture translation of a hot hipster chick sweaty from a romp in the sack who throws on a T-shirt with no bra, bathing suit bottoms, and combat boots to go to the juice stand downstairs on a Thursday at 11 a.m. Korban says:
“Even the people at the top in fashion, even though they’re older, I see their desire to be sexy and young, and I feel that is lacking in the interiors world."
Brubach says no one would have described the space as "sexy" when she owned it, but maybe that's in the eye of the beholder. Kind of like air shafts.
When, two years ago, New York Law School put up a building on the adjacent parking lot, the view from my bedroom windows—a tableau of low-rise rooftops and water towers, with the needle of the Empire State Building beyond—was replaced by an air shaft, its blank walls lined with corrugated metal that made waking up there feel like rise and shine at a federal penitentiary. But for Wang, “that was the kicker,” Korban recalls. “There was something about it that felt so steel and so industrial and so Alex.”