Welcome to the official Alexa Stark blog. It's an idea Alexa has been growing for a while and we're happy to announce it has at long last come to fruition. We hope you'll check in regularly for news about upcoming collections, events, and sales as well as some behind the scenes coverage of Alexa's process, fashion shows, inspirations, and much more. To kick things off we're asking the question, Who is Alexa Stark? You know her clothing, but do you know the woman and intention behind the designs?
Growing up on the East Coast, young Alexa's aesthetic was what she describes as shy-punk and she admits she gravitated towards menswear. Says Alexa, I showed up to a school dinner in a man’s suit and was embarrassed by my appearance next to all the girls in their pretty dresses. I didn’t have a lot of money for clothes so I started going to second hand stores and buying clothes for less than a dollar a garment. The thrill of thrifting soon faded and I started reworking what I bought and making my own pieces. I made it a challenge to create one garment per week. I didn’t know how to sew, so construction varied from staples to duct tape to a lot of belts. It was all smoke and mirrors. It wasn’t until my senior year that my grandmother taught me how to use a sewing machine.
Though she didn't realize it until she started applying for colleges, the artistry of fashion was to become Alexa's path. While studying at Parsons New School for Design Alexa learned who she was going to be as a designer: I learned a lot about what I did not want. I did not want to work for a huge fashion house. I did not want to produce my clothes in other countries. And I did not want to compete for attention. When I changed my major from fashion to integrated design with a focus in fashion, I learned more about sustainability and alternative approaches to design. That was the when I felt like I had found my place in the fashion world.
It was while studying at Parsons that Alexa Stark, the brand, began to emerge: One of my professors at Parsons just told me to start selling, so I did. I went onto the streets of NYC, set up a rack and started selling. It was good advice. It worked. The brand evolved just as I evolved as a designer, people started recognizing my name and continued to collect.
Though she felt at home in New York City, after graduation Alexa decided to move west and test out the waters in Portland, Oregon - an environment with a slower pace and different community feel than NYC: Portland is a very sustainable city. I had an opportunity to grow and develop my line there without the pressures of surviving in a city like New York. I knew that New York was my home and I could always go back, so why not explore new territory first?
Fast forward to today, Alexa has honed and refined her aesthetic to create and support her vision of the Alexa Stark woman, who she describes as: ... creative enough to try silhouettes that are a bit more daring, and is hard working enough to want to wear something that is going to transform with her. The Alexa Stark woman wants to wear something that will be with her through the many changes of her life, perfect at every age. She is concerned about our pressing social and environmental issues and the clothes she wears are an outward expression of this consciousness. She wants to support the handmade, the local and the organic in all areas of her life.
Focusing on thoughtful design while using production practices that are ethical and make the least amount of environmental impact, Alexa Stark continues to evolve, both as a designer and as a brand. Stay tuned for exciting things ahead.
Next week: Take a behind the scenes peek at the Alexa Stark SS16 preview ...