Steven Alan is a designer who knows who his customer is, what they want and how to give it to them: No frills, no bells-and-whistles, just well-designed, well-made clothes that regular and fashion folk alike can actually, you know, wear.
Needless to say, his Fall 2012 presentation, set in a low key space at Pier 59, was no different. There were sturdy wool dresses, pretty blouses, and menswear-inspired outerwear for girls, and, for the dudes, there were a wide array of cool suits and separates that would look just as at home on a stockbroker as they would on a LES hipster.
"The inspiration was Diego Rivera, the exhibit at the MOMA," designer Steven Alan told us. "We went there--myself and my design team, and we just loved the whole thing--you know, the canvases, and the cement."
"We started pulling things for our [inspiration] board early on, and then we went to [the Diego exhibit], and we started pulling a lot of stuff from Mexico," Alan told us. "And then we felt like there was too much from Mexico, so we kind of toned it down [but kept] some definite elements, [like] the aztec blanket [material] and a lot of he textured fabrics, a lot of handknit sweaters."
One welcome surprise was the presence of more evening-appropriate wear for both women and men--something Alan told us we can expect to see more of in the future. "Evening was a general theme for us," he told us. "We really wanted to get more into suiting for men and more into silk dresses and things for women."
And that's not the only evolution we can look forward too--Alan told us he hopes the brand can expand into more and more categories, developing a stronger presence in women's footwear, jewelry and knitwear. "Because I started out as a buyer, and I bought everything--men's, women's, accessories--I have an interest [in a lot of categories] and I know a little bit about a lot of things," Alan said. "[Now], I'd like to take a deeper dive into some of those things."
Could his brand's evolution ever include a celebrity collaboration? Maybe, Alan says. "If it was the right celebrity and I really felt like they had something to say about the clothing line then I would do it."
And who might be his ideal celebrity collaborator? "I like [actress] Rebecca Hall, for example, as a woman, but I don't know if she has any interest in designing a clothing line," he told us. "But just in terms of her sensibility, I think she's great."
Rebecca, if you're reading this, you know what to do.