New York-based designer Alejandra Alonso got her start making dolls clothes, but now she's creating beautiful garments that are more art than basics.
WHEN ALEJANDRA ALONSO was a little girl growing up in Spain, she would spend endless hours asking her mother to make clothes for her dolls. Eventually, she was handed a pair of knitting needles and some yarn, and began creating them herself. Now she’s designing much more than dolls clothes, with her own label A Moi.
Founded in 2014, the label is a chic, contemporary offering that specializes in unique silhouettes and interesting fabrications (Alonso still favors a good knit), with a mix of everyday basics that can be adapted into the fashion girl’s closet. While a career as a fashion designer was always at the forefront of Alonso’s mind, she headed to business school first to focus on the basics of running a successful company (whilst taking fashion design classes at a night school). A stint at Chicago’s Art Institute followed, before Alonso launched a small shoe label (then life got in the way, and it closed) whilst working at Anna Sui and Nicholas K. For Alonso, launching her line (the name translates to ‘me,’ and came to her when she scrawled it on a suitcase), was a combination of pure love for fashion, the desire to create something new, and to fulfill her creative dreams (as it is for all young designers). “I wanted to create something special, something for a woman who appreciates quality and an openness to try new things,” she says.
"I wanted to create something special, something for a woman who appreciates quality and an openness to try NEW things."
“From inspiration to material sourcing, I always try to make the customer feel special in a way. That’s not just through deciding on a fabric, but manipulating it. I really want people to appreciate the craftsmanship, like the amazing couture from Europe.” That craftsmanship is apparent in her latest Fall 2015 collection, which mixes leather culottes with sculptural, one arm knits with huge bell sleeves and incredibly bold shirting options (it’s all you’ll need with a pair of jeans.)
Still a fledging label, A Moi’s woman is bold and experimental in her clothes. "I'm always inspired by the A Moi woman, a woman who is intrigued by the world, who travels, or who lives internationally for business or pleasure,” comments Alonso. Her family is also a huge inspiration. Her mother, a prior house model for Delpozo in the ‘70s and ‘80s, constantly influences her. Her grand aunt was a surgeon who moved to New York, her grandmother has worked in advertising and fashion, and her uncle ran a fashion company in Spain. Suffice to say, creativity runs in her blood. “The A Moi woman appreciates quality, but also has many activities during the day that we try to accommodate for. From activities to environment. I’m very conscious about even the way you can pack every piece of the collection. I also think that clothes that can be given from grandma to mom to daughter. Every generation or every person can style in their own way, which I personally love.”
Breakfast is my favorite meal, so I make time every morning to enjoy it. Some of my favorites are egg soldiers, croissants, toasted baguettes with salted butter and fig marmalade. To drink, I’ll usually have fresh pressed juice (depending on the fruits I have) and a big cup of tea (my favorite is Marco Polo from Marriage et Fréres).
2. What was your last dream about?
I was on a beautiful beach. I think it was Harbor Island, but it looked different. I was with my cousins grabbing some drinks and catching up, it was very fun actually.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Teleportation to see my friends and family overseas as often as I would like. Also, it would be convenient to be able to travel to incredible places around the world without wasting so many hours on a plane!
4. What is your spirit animal?
My dog, Latte.
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
My last Fall/Winter 16 collection.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
7. What is your favorite song?
One of my favorite songs is ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen.
8. Favorite artists?
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A great sweater.
10. Any hidden talents?
Cooking, mixology, and event/trip planning.