Photos by Tom Wallace Label Networks TV by Masaki Miyagawa
The guys behind the legendary core brand alife”, Rob and Arnell, are not the type of guys who are going to spill their guts to media about how they stay so original in order to prove their cred-factor. They simply are original and have gained cred by working seriously hard for a long time on aesthetics product, and quality results that embrace their lifestyle -which happens to be enviable in today’s contemporary street fashion scene. These guys, who were the Creative Directors for Mass Appeal Magazine, presented graffiti art and the artists behind the scenes in such original formats that some account it for being the birth of the mainstream graff movement of today. They also started such a unique retail concept, located in the lower east side of New York City in 1999 (now expanded to 2 stores), that streetwear entrepreneurs popped up throughout the city trying to do the same thing.
However, always being one step ahead, alife has their entire infrastructure together, presenting a new collection of footwear and sneakers at Agenda and again at Project in Las Vegas last month, as part of a new movement of streetwear moving contemporary-street and popping over to Project instead of the South Hall of MAGIC.
Since their first store and magazine, which for many marked a kick-off of sorts for streetwear retail, Rob and Arnell have created an entire clothing collection, accessories, footwear, books, and various high-end collabs, including a high-profile collab with Levi Strauss resulting in a co-branded 501 jean. The alife retail concept now also includes the alife Rivington Club which features a collection of other street fashion brands, and then the alife brands.
We met up with Ari Langsdorf from The Foundation (formerly the Vanguard Group) who works with alife in creating solid sales, distribution, and brand curating programs where he gave us the quick lowdown on alife, their latest footwear collection, usage of new materials and style concepts, new denim line, recent collab with Girl Skateboards, and plans for moving into the worldwide arena.