Thursday, August 30, 2012

London Alexander - The Journey Continues

All Eco Fashion Week photos courtesy of Peter Jensen

I wrote a series on this blog called 5 New Designers to Watch and one was on London Alexander.  This talented menswear designer first came to my attention when only in his first year of design school and I have been following his progress ever since.  With his graduation looming on September 25th, it's amazing to reflect on the fact he has already launched 3 collections and shown 2 seasons on the runway at Eco Fashion Week. I have full confidence this young talent has what it takes to make it in the tough fashion industry.

Alexander decided to start his business in 2009.  He remembers,  "My aunty is a seamstress who owns an alteration/sport store in Squamish.  She taught me everything I knew up until I started school at Vancouver Community College in 2010.  Most people would do the traditional step-by-step process:  school, internship and then eventually finding a job.  For some reason I didn't do it this way.  I enjoyed designing, so I just did it."


Initially, he enrolled in just two courses at VCC to test the waters - Fashion Illustration and Photoshop For Fashion.  Then Alexander decided he needed to acquire the basic skills if he was going to run his business properly. The attack was two-fold:  entering the Fashion Design Program along with lots of sheer hard work networking and researching as he established his brand.  "A lot of the business side of things - locating factories, sourcing out fabric, proper spec sheets, delivery times, shop connections, branding my label - has been through trial and error.  Tips from people I've met through networking have helped me make hopefully the right decisions."


Fall/Winter 2012 took it's inspiration from the African-American civil rights movement during the years 1955-1968.  Fabrics include imported tweeds from England to add a classic twist and camouflage print for a military twist.  The palette features Black Panther colours of gold, red and black.  "I focused on two styles - the political dress of Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the urban military style of Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers. The combination of these two diverse styles gives the collection an urban chic feel."  This brand is designed for the man who likes classic tailoring combined with high end street style and Fall/Winter 2012 fits the bill perfectly.

Malcom X - Martin Luther King, Jr. - Black Panthers
Launching a new collection each season, building his brand, showing two seasons at Eco Fashion Week and working part-time has meant design school has proven a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  In the end though, London Alexander feels the journey has been worth it.  His upcoming grad collection will be based along the lines of his Spring/Summer 2013 collection - that's right, he's doing both at the same time - but we will have to wait for his grad show on September 25th (details below) to see it.


For more information on London Alexander you can check out his website at www.londonalexander.ca.

VCC's grad show - Fiat Mode XXV - will be held on September 25th at the Italian Cultural Centre.  It will be an amazing show!  To purchase tickets click HERE.

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