K-pop star, label boss and designer Jackson Wang barely sleeps

Written by on 27/01/2022

K-Pop star, fashion brand boss and record label owner Jackson Wang is an icon with many titles. Born in Hong Kong in 1994, his former-Olympian father trained him as a fencer from an early age, with his skills earning him a spot on the national team. After winning a gold medal at the Junior Asian Games in his teens, he was promised a future as a professional athlete but priorities shifted when he was scouted by JYP Entertainment, a major Korean record label. Jackson decided to pursue being a K-pop idol, making a spectacular debut as a member of the chart-topping, award-winning boy group, GOT7, just four years later in 2014.

a side profile of Jackson Wang wearing all black clothes

Now 27 years old with over 26 million followers on Instagram, although GOT7’s JYP contract came to an end last year, Jackson has found his star rising even higher across the world. Back in 2017, along with his solo music career, he launched his own Shanghai-based record label, TEAM WANG, on which he just released his new single “王嘉尔 JACKSON WANG”. On it, the artist reflects on his life so far in both Chinese and English lyrics, recounting: 17-year-old Jackson remembers / Without thinking too much / He left everything behind / On July 3rd, he left home on a one-way ticket / With three suitcases.

TEAM WANG — of which Jackson is founder and CEO — expanded and launched their own brand of elevated streetwear in 2020. Their third collection “COOKIES – STANDARD”, launched last Fall and now almost entirely sold out, explores the theme of self-exploration via a series of minimalist all-black designs. Throughout the collection, burgeoning designer Jackson poses the introspective question, “What is happiness, to me?”

With Jackson showing zero signs of slowing down, we asked the multi-hyphenate talent to tell us more about the creative vision behind TEAM WANG, his secret power nap routine and what happiness means to him.

How would you describe your current mood in three words? 

Anxiety. Motivated. Blessed. 

What was the initial motivation for you to start TEAM WANG? 

I started everything ‘cause I really want to connect the East and the West on a platform, in the hope that everyone can share and express their own self. TEAM WANG creates whatever we would like to wear, hear and see. There is TEAM WANG design for fashion, and there is TEAM WANG records for music and production. 

How would you describe your style? Who’s your favourite designer? 

I don’t have a favourite designer. I just go for stuff that’s comfy to my mood. 

Jackson Wang looking straight to the camera

As a fashion label, TEAM WANG has previously collaborated with brands like FENDI and Palm Angels. What is it about collaborating with other designers that appeals to you?

I think it’s about the mix of DNA. It’s fun because you never know what’s gonna come out – often something you wouldn’t expect. 

What are the difficulties of being a K-pop star and running a company at the same time? How do you cope with them? 

Being on stage and building the stage beforehand and taking care of it after. 

Team Wang’s latest collection is called COOKIES – STANDARD, which is about questioning our own happiness. What does happiness mean to you right now? 

To do what I love to the fullest while I’m alive. 

Jackson Wang in all white clothes

Could you name a few songs that you were frequently listening to while working on the latest collection? 

“I Need You” by Yaeow, and “I Like You” by Ai Bendr. 

What is the most recent event that made you happy? 

Seeing my ideas come to life, that excites me the most. Being free and having time to be creative. 

I heard that you practice meditation most mornings. How does the ritual affect your everyday life? 

I do power naps. I sleep for three hours and wake up and work, and then I take another three hours nap time. I never sleep. This is my new way of sleeping. 

What are you looking forward to right now? 

Just to move forward with everything and execute everything in my mind. That’s all.

Jackson Wang opening his arms to the wall with the TEAM WANG sign

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more fashion-music crossovers.


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