Alexa Chung on Her Superga Collab and Why Coachella Sucks
"Once I liked [Coachella], but that it’'s been co-opted and commercialized burns me out," says Chung.
Multihyphenate Alexa Chung showed up in Venice last night, wearing a $490 denim apron dress of her own design, to launch the Superga x Alexa Chung sneaker line that’s meant to be paired with her spring-summer 2018 namesake fashion collection.
In a private room at The Butcher's Daughter restaurant (next to a branded Mini Cooper packed to the hilt with the collab sneakers), the 34-year-old television host/fashion-designer/model/writer/muse who has worked with brands such as Longchamp, Mulberry and Madewell talked to THR about her latest collab, her fave L.A. hangouts, and why Coachella sucks.
Tell us about the Superga collab —I understand that you envision characters when creating your collections?
In 2011, I modeled for Superga and this is the first time I’ve designed my own line so it’s to sit alongside my Bloomsbury Group-inspired collection that’s out now. This was very direct because I was inspired by Virginia Woolf and that particular section of people, but for future collections there‘s definitely more of a narrative and a fully fleshed-out world that this woman occupies and then we go about making the costumes.
The look of your spring collection was very romantic.
Yes! During World War II and post, they were creating their own fabrics and all of the textiles and paintings that Vanessa Bell [Virginia Woolf’s sister] was making were really inspiring. I visited Charleston House, the farm house they lived in during that time which inspired the color palette of this shoe collection.
So your mom used to wear Superga? How else is the brand a fit for you?
Yeah, to me it’s a classic just because my mom used to have them on and so I’m really familiar with the silhouette. They evoke feelings of going on vacation. I have a romantic idea of Superga being the ultimate Italian sneaker that I was wearing on mopeds. I think there’s a synergy between our brands. We both gravitate toward classic, relaxed things that can be luxe as well as versatile.
You’ve spent a lot of time in L.A. but your aesthetic is described as Parisian-meets-New Yorker. Is there any west coast in you?
Other people describe it as that but I have an open door policy in terms of cultural influence. I’ve always loved L.A. It's somewhere I relish coming because there are so many great vintage places here—markets, shops—so I do a lot of vintage research.
That’s on my list: What are some of your favorite shops?
I love Scout on Melrose and American Rag Cie. I’m lucky because my best friend Tennessee [Thomas] lives here and takes me on shopping sprees to vintage places and I never really know their names. I also like Opening Ceremony and Maxfield and the [Melrose Trading Post] flea market on Fairfax. I used to love to hang out at the bar Smoke Cutter but they shut it down so now I go to Barney’s Beanery a lot and play the basketball game.
How do you feel about your friend Christopher Bailey leaving Burberry?
I went to the final show and they were playing the song ‘Don’t You Forget About Me” which is funny because I don’t think they will forget about him. He managed to turn that brand around and create an explosive, very well-respected powerhouse out of what was once a failing company. So he’ll always be revered for being the man who made them relevant. I think it’s great for him personally because he’s probably excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and to have some time off.
You’re not going to Coachella this year, but do you have any style advice?
I’ve been there a lot but I’m not going this year because I have work to do. I just don’t like festival style [anymore], sorry. I don’t like it as a concept. It sucks. Once, I liked [Coachella]. But that it’s been co-opted and commercialized bums me out. It’s a place where you used to be free to express yourself but because of social media now, it’s the one weekend where’s there’s more pressure to get dressed now and that doesn’t make sense to me. Festivals should be a time to unwind and celebrate with your friends and have fun.
You have a new contract with L’Oreal Professional; any hair tips you've learned?
Yes. Just rewash your bangs, not your whole hair. Use dry shampoo.
Anything else you want to say?
There’s nothing left to be said after 10 years of it. Without doing an internal X-ray of my kidneys, there’s nothing anyone doesn’t know about me!