Follow us


Alexa Chung discusses her rebellious side as she launches pop-up in Harvey Nichols

Alice Ierace
08 April 2019

It’s a quiet Thursday night in London, traffic is slowly moving around Knightsbridge and tourists are stopping to photograph a glimpse of sunset before returning to their sightseeing. It is the perfect night for a quiet and intimate evening with Alexa Chung herself.

Last September, Chung staged her first on-schedule catwalk show at London Fashion Week her brand (which was launched in May 2017 and is backed by investor Peter Dubens, who also invests in Bella Freud's brand) has been going from strength to strength. Renowned for its unique approach to womenswear by combining distinctive fabrics and prints to more tailored and classic designs, the brand is now sold in 15 countries and has recently launched at Harvey Nichols.

Designed to promote her new pop-up store in the luxury retailer and hosted by Refinery29’s journalist Georgia Murray, the evening turned out to be a pleasant distraction from everyday life.

Inside Harvey Nichols the atmosphere is sparkly – we are surrounded by cocktails and pieces from the new Alexachung’s collection neatly displayed across the cosy room. There is a visible excitement on the faces of the few people that managed to snatch a ticket before they sold out.

Alexa arrives wearing a light blue silky skirt and a matching cardigan – both from her latest collection, of course. The evening goes by fast and across the room everyone is trying to get a glimpse of the stage whilst sipping on refreshing cocktails.

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung on-stage at Harvey Nichols

Last month, Harvey Nichols unveiled a new campaign celebrating its strong heritage of championing the brands that have taken the industry by storm, called "Rebel Rebel". And what better way to celebrate it than with the rebel queen herself, Alexa Chung?

Rebellion gives me a cooler edge. I guess it was by mistake I think that I adapted to become someone slightly rebellious. I want a fun life, I want to try things and I don’t want to be scared to give things a go,” says Alexa smiling.

“Within work, everyday there is kind of a gentle rebellion happening. I think it’s important to fight for stuff you believe in and how you’re represented and how that kind of impacts how we’re all represented in a bigger way,” she adds.

Alexa started her modelling career at 16 years old and, later on, became a TV personality in both the UK and the US. It wasn’t until 2016 that she decided to launch her eponymous label but, by then, her iconic style had already become a source of inspiration.

"I’m not sure that I do have an encyclopaedic knowledge [of fashion], it’s just something that I’m very, very interested in and am always curious about."

“I’m not sure that I do have an encyclopaedic knowledge [of fashion], it’s just something that I’m very, very interested in and am always curious about. I never used to really look on Vogue Runaway or anything, I didn’t use to consume fashion shows.

I really was always looking at culture, street style and responding to stuff I felt an instinct for and that’s kind of carried through. I think I’m in a privileged position where I attend fashion shows now and that’s how I am gaining more understanding of what’s going on but still, I am just kind of relentlessly trying to learn,” she explains laughing.

After a series of successful collaborations with other brands and her personal reputation as a style icon, an eponymous brand seemed like the perfect next step for Alexa’s career. Collection after collection, Chung’s success has exceeded expectations. So how exactly has the brand evolved?

“I think we’ve become a bit more grown up maybe. I think the woman I had in my mind at the beginning, I was just really confused about, because I was being rebellious and I didn’t want to give anyone what they expected me to make because it was too easy,” she says.

“But in terms of evolving I think the last collection we just showed ‘Off the Grid’ has been my favourite we’ve done so far. It had a really potent message and imagery around it, and I think [with] every collection, I am always really interested in telling a story and being quite narrative-led and that one is the one I am sort of the most proud of.”

When Mulberry decided to create a bag inspired by her in 2009, the result was a 79% increase in its sales the following year and her Madewell and AG Jeans collaborations both sold out immediately after their debut. Her role as a muse to many designers and popular sartorial choices have shaped her reputation throughout the years.

I was always interested in clothes - not even fashion per se but imagery, clothes, photography, styling, everything to do with it. Through TV I kind of was interested in how you can buy vintage and mix it with other stuff. I think people started noticing my style and over the years [it] became bold enough that I thought I could try to start my own brand,” Chung explains.

Throughout the evening, Alexa talks about people that have, in one way or another, inspired her - from Anita Pallenberg and Patty Smith. “I guess they were being a culture light bulb for that moment in time and taking all the trends that were happening and just kind of making it into one very potent image and having total image commitment,” she explains.

So what’s next for Alexa and her brand?

“We are focusing on the next collection and continuing to have fun and create these fun events. [I’m] looking forward to do something in September.”

Free NewsletterVISIT