Interview by Thomas Bradley
The A.L.I.E.N. crew visits us from the far-flung corners of the street fashion universe. Pushing an early 90’s aesthetic with a gritty, funny twist, the ALIEN crew sat down with Freshnessmag.com to discuss street couture, space travel, and NYC style. Check it and respect it!
What’s in a name? Picking a name in the street fashion business can be a life or death situation, give us the philosophy behind the famed A.L.I.E.N.S moniker.
The name A.L.I.EN or A Legion In Every Nation stems from the fact that I felt that we- the people I hang out with and vibe with on a daily basis are different from what is expected from urban youths today or what may be perceived as the norm. We wear our clothing tight, we rock loud colors and gaudy accessories and our music tastes extend beyond HOT 97(not that there’s anything wrong with that) but the difference we felt we possessed lies deeper than just our attire, we are all also trying to make our mark on the streets in a massive way, it isn’t enough for us to go to school get degrees and get a regular 9-5, we want to make a statement artistically and we are always searching for something new and refreshing; thus, the name is just an extension of that, saying basically we recognize that there are people who may feel the same way as we do- that there is a legion of people who are looked at as different or unique the world over.
How did the crew come about and what are the names of the galvanizing members at its heart?
There is a misconception that there are officially ALIEN crew members. The crew that is seen is made up of people that I hang out with and party with and connect with creatively. There are no official crew members but I do have friends that I chill with regularly and I have a lot of supporters who want to see me succeed and for that I am thankful but I am always looking for people who I can learn from and who have something refreshing to say whether it be through music, art or fashion.
Streetwear consists of deceptively superficial materials and looks which are not the simplistic fashions some perceive them to be. Entire systems of living and thinking birth the styles and culture that contribute to the street couture movement. Explain how this idea relates to the A.L.I.E.N crew from the style of speech and dress to the upcoming clothing line.
It is very important for me to emphasize the lifestyle aspect of the line, my ideas are fueled by the daily experiences I encounter living in New York City, by the various people I meet and the culture of the city itself. I feel that there definitely needs to be some sort of culture behind a brand, one cannot just make clothes without a purpose, I feel that you need an underlying theme or story- I wanted to make clothes that I would like to wear, clothes that were essentially for me luckily others have appreciated these pieces as well.
How important is skating to the high-streetwear community? What do you think the relationship is about?
I think skating does play a very important role but that is not the defining aspect of a streetwear brand in my opinion. I feel that the whole skating thing has become overpopularized and I have tried to shy away from the hype-I am not a professional or hard-core skater nor have I professed to being one but I do enjoy skating occasionally and can understand why the love of it can drive the creation of a whole clothing line. But I cannot say that that was my inspiration- I am an artist foremost and my ability to draw coupled with the desire to create clothing that I wanted to wear but did not see drove me to create the brand. However, I definitely wanted my clothing to be embraced by the streetwear community which is most definitely influenced by skating.
Define the movement from the A.L.I.E.N perspective.
To this day I am still very much amazed and overwhelmed at the support, but I think that people react positively to our lifestyle- from the parties, to the clothes, to the goings on in our daily lives, but what we do is not entirely different from what other people are doing, I think it is the fact that I am a very approachable guy that is appealing to most.
The scene is very insular, N.Y. is a different gang than L.A., yet there is
something very universal about the movement. What spots, internationally or homegrown, do you feel really bang out and inspire you?
My inspiration does not only come from spots or scenes- to be honest my biggest inspirations are cartoons I am a cartoon fanatic! I look at various artists? style of drawing and some of my ideas also come from cartoons. I am also inspired by the old school- from the fashions to the music to the T.V. shows; however, there has been a lot of hype surrounded around this decade with people striving to take it back to the 80s and declaring that they are 80s babies. As far as scenes go, I like the vibe on the Lower East Side of New York and I am a huge fan of the Japanese street scene( who isn’t?) and the many ghettos of Africa also inspire me.
Street Couture recently hit the pages of the New York Times Magazine (Rob Walker, what’s good? CONSUMED sec.), what fashion houses and streetwear brands move you and motivate the look you?re currently exploring?
I like the collections of designers like Alexandre Herchovitch and Jeremy Scott they play with fashion and they don’t seem to take it too seriously I am also a huge fan of the L.A brand Morphine Generation. As far as streetwear brands I’m feeling aNYthing, the hundreds,and fucking awesome.
What trouble will the crew be into for the Spring/Summer ’06 season and where are the A.L.I.E.N.S taking it this year?(Those UFO jeans have to hit shelves soon!!!)
We are definitely in the lab thinking up new concepts and designs to hit up the masses and planning to come up with specific themes in each upcoming season we are also planning to expand our online magazine and maybe branch out into cut and sew pieces. And as we speak we are currently working on our launch party- and as for those UFO jeans, right now I’ve been producing them for close friends but they definitely will be showcased in an upcoming season.