Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Current location: Detroit, MI
Your top 5 favorite spots in Detroit:
Number one is definitely my studio and showroom in South West Detroit. Re-locating to Detroit for me has been such an awesome opportunity to create an environment that provides endless inspiration and opportunity to create.
Your go-to outfit:
Describe your favorite pair of jeans:
Black, mid rise, straight cut with zero stretch.
Your guilty pleasure:
I try not to feel guilty about anything that I do.
What’s your motto?:
As far as my label goes, I'm aiming for longevity. My goal is to create timeless pieces and maintain creative integrity while pursuing my vision and growing as a designer.
Tell us a little bit about your background:
I'm self-taught. I worked in New York as an accessory designer and leather contractor. I relocated to Detroit around a year ago. Since moving away from NYC, my focus has been on developing the debut line of accessories I'm releasing this October. To build momentum leading up to that, I've released two capsule collections as of now (jeans by ALXVNDRA and tees by ALXVNDRA) with more on the way. I've also been working on developing a showroom in Detroit, the goal being to create a space for inspiration and resource by providing archival fashion pieces, rare publications, and the work of other contemporary fashion designers and artists for local emerging designers in Detroit.
How did you start your line?:
The accessories line started with a found object - the coil. From there it's taken over two years to develop, between finding fabricators, suppliers, and factories that could manifest my vision into physical form.
What is your design process like?:
My design process is very physical. I find that the easiest way to translate my vision in the beginning stages is to sample and make each piece myself, whether it be a garment, accessory or object.
Where did the inspiration behind two-toned denim come from?
Reconstructed denim has been a trend over the past year or so, jeans by ALXVNDRA are my take on that trend.
Where do you currently sell the line? Do you hope to expand to larger retailers?:
The jeans are exclusively sold at Shop Super Street in LA and in Detroit at the ALXVNDRA showroom. I make them all myself, so scaling upwards to larger retailers is not something I'm interested in doing. The capsule collections are meant to be limited in quantity and availability. However, with the accessories, my goal is to sell worldwide.
What is your advice for people who want to start their own line?:
At this point in my career, I am no expert and have tons I have yet to learn. But if I were to dispense any advice it would be this: You need to be ready. There are so many outlets with e-commerce where I see a lot of young designers releasing collections prematurely without a set up in place to succeed within the fashion industry. It takes years to develop an aesthetic and successfully execute a vision that translates and inspires your customers. My advice would be to be patient and spend time developing both as a person and a designer before putting it all out into the world.
What's your next collection looking like? What can we look forward to? :
Accessories by ALXVNDRA's philosophy views leather as a second skin whose intrinsic stories ultimately become the wearer's own. The six-piece collection is paired down yet powerful, and pays respect to the unpretentious origins and integrity of the leather while highlighting it's primal sensuality. Expect to see simple silhouettes paired with unusual metal pieces like chunky industrial zippers and coils. The goal for the collection is to empower. The ALXVNDRA woman is one who is comfortable in her own skin, whose stories are her own. Fearless, teamed with her modern leather tools, she's the type of woman who keeps nothing on the shelf. These pieces are meant to be worn.
Keep an eye out for the release October 2016, available exclusively though ALXVNDRA.com
Follow @alxvndra here.