<p>Alexa Chung at Wimbledon on 9 July</p>

Alexa Chung at Wimbledon on 9 July

Alexa Chung says she was ‘gagged’ by fashion houses at the start of her career

‘I was a model, then I did TV and then I was told to shut up,’ she said in a new interview

Saman Javed
Sunday 11 July 2021 19:42
comments

Alexa Chung says her confidence “regressed” at the start of her career after contractual obligations with fashion houses dictated what she could and could not wear.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times Style magazine, the presenter-turned-model-turned-fashion designer recalled fashion brands “borrowing” her distinctive sense of style and then “gagging” her.

Since 2008, Chung has worked with a huge catalogue of brands, including DKNY Jeans, Lacoste, Superga, Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney and Longchamp.

Chung, 37, said that under her contractual obligations, there were certain things that she wasn’t allowed to wear, which left her feeling like brands only wanted her on their terms.

“It made getting dressed tricky sometimes. The reason they want me is because I’ve got this style that I am recognised for.

“So they’re borrowing that then gagging me, even though the reason I was known for that was because of what I had to say. Like, ‘Oh great, we need that — ish. But on our terms,” she said.

Chung has a distinctive personal style that first caught the eye of the fashion world while she was a presenter on Channel 4’s Popworld between 2006 and 2007.

She said that while being herself on television is what made her famous, the fashion world silenced her.

“I was a model, then I did TV and then I was told to shut up,” she said

“I became famous from TV, then people started using me as a muse for fashion houses, but the voice section wasn’t required for that, so I actually regressed,” she added.

Taking back her power over her sense of style, the model launched her own namesake label, ALEXACHUNG, in 2017.

Speaking on her entry into the world of fashion design, Chung told Style that her designs suffered in the beginning because she wanted everyone to like her. Also, having never studied fashion, she found it difficult to disagree with those who had.

“The design side suffered because I wasn’t able to be frank. I found it intimidating to tell people who had an education in fashion that I thought something sucked.

“I had to figure out how to give direct feedback comfortably. I wasn’t sure I was any good at it. There was no way to quantify what my actual talent was,” she said.

Earlier this week, Chung was spotted in the stands at Wimbledon with her partner, Orson Fry, who she has been dating since May 2019.

Arriving to watch Novak Djokovic take on Denis Shapovalov on Friday, 9 July, she wore a shimmering blue metallic t-shirt, paired with belted beige trousers, a matching cardigan and black sandals.

In a subtle nod to England’s 2-1 win against Denmark on Wednesday during the Euro 2020 tournament, Fry wore an England Three Lions t-shirt under a navy blue blazer.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments