Alexa Chung has worn countless hats (both literal and figurative): model, TV presenter, muse, influencer, collaborator, writer, the list goes on. Her latest role is serving as creative director of her eponymous line, available on the Fifth Floor. Here, she tells BG’s Alexandria Gomez what she loves about being more behind the scenes.
BG: How does it feel to have a line that’s entirely your own after countless fashion collaborations?
AC: At first, despite how fully I wanted to start the line, I was a bit reluctant to take on the responsibility psychologically. I was showing up every day and giving it my best shot, but it took a while to really feel comfortable in the role of boss—to say “my company” or “I made this” rather than rely on a slew of “we, us and our.” One thing that combats those pangs of imposter syndrome is the immense amount of relief I feel now that I have autonomy over my own life. Before, I spent years waiting in the wings for the phone to ring and though it frequently did, I still experienced the uneasiness of having my life direction contingent on other people and their perception of me.
BG: Unlike previous collaborations, you aren’t the face of your own line. What lead to that decision?
AC: Easing into my role as creative director behind the scenes also meant taking the unusual step back from being the face of my line, a decision that hadn’t occurred to me until me at first, but seemed obvious once it was suggested by our art director and CEO. This is really a business that I want to have a legacy and live on with or without me.
BG: Has your celebrity status posed a challenge in developing the brand?
AC: Yeah, I want to design for the woman I want to become, someone a bit more grown up and mature. That isn’t to say I’ll be designing grandma clothes, but I think rather than designing a retrospective of my top hits, I really want to think about women who inspire me, the imaginary woman I view for this collection; she’s a little more sophisticated and she’s not out all night drinking whiskey and attending gigs anymore, she’s kind of intelligent and well-read and softer, more feminine than who I originally had in mind.
BG: Who are these women who inspire you?
AC: I follow a bunch of women who are super interesting, have solid points of view and are fully-formed humans—women like Tracee Ellis Ross, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. I find myself gravitating towards women who have a wonderful, nurturing femininity and softness about them that I personally don’t show as much.
BG: Beyond the Alexa Chung of the past and future, how do you identify yourself today?
AC: I want to be seen as someone who can do things that have longevity; I am a creative director and I hope to continue to be one in the future. When I look back, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing all along, it just took a while to figure out. At the end of the day, I just want to be me, I want to be Alexa Chung.