New York City’s preeminent young designer, Alexander Wang, is facing a $50 million lawsuit amid allegations that he is running a “sweatshop” in Chinatown, reports The New York Post. Wang, who earned approximately $25 million in 2011 and has announced major brand expansion plans for 2012, is accused of mistreating workers by forcing them to commit to staggering 16-plus hour days sans overtime in a claustrophobic, light-deprived 200-square-foot studio located at 386 Broadway.
Among the 30 workers complaining about working conditions is 56-year-old Wenyu Lu, a three-year employee of Wang’s who was forced recently to work 25 hours straight without a break. Lu claims that Dennis Wang, Alexander’s brother, insulted him throughout the beleaguering process of constructing “a professional grade leather trouser from cut to finish in four hours,” which proved to be an impossible task. Exhausted, Lu ended up in the hospital only to be fired on February 16th – days after Wang’s Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week showing – after he brought his situation to attention and requested worker’s compensation.
The subsequent lawsuit against Wang claims that dozens of Lu’s co-workers suffered from similar abuse. So far, Wang’s representatives have yet to comment on the suit.