Today we’d like to introduce you to Braydon Alexander.
Braydon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Braydon Alexander DC was started about four and half years ago. Before that growing up I was heavily involved in graffiti and skate culture, I started working in a skate shop full time in 2007 and was surrounded by a lot of skate wear and streetwear brands. I was always just buying and collecting clothes, but it was mainly shoes during that time (back then it was Nike SB’s), so there was a natural interest in fashion and style but no interest at all in making clothes as I was more focused on interior design during that time up until about 2011. Jump to 2013 my daughter was born, and I was still slowly collecting, although it turned more to garments by now and had left interior design behind as I had gotten more intrigued by starting my own clothing brand. 2014 I started my first collection, but I didn’t sew, know where to get fabric, know anybody that made patterns, I didn’t know anything about making clothes. Since I was in DC it was next to impossible to find a pattern maker, although I managed to and create the first samples of what was my OUTLAW collection.
Fast forward a year or so, we took the brands production to NYC to start in a new factory and have access to more fabric/trim options. This whole time I’m still learning, moving the brand to NYC really taught me about working with factories and how the production process really goes although not in all the best ways. Jump ahead another year, NYC fizzled out because I wasn’t getting the level of attention to garments that I wanted and was being held up by the factory as at that time Hood By Air was just getting big and that was their main client. So my garments fell behind stalling me out while paying a rate I expected more from. Mixed with spending time traveling from DC to NYC while my daughter was younger to see things in same condition I left them in with little progress put me off to how they did business.
Around that time I got a call from my friend Chaz, designer of IH NOM UH NIT who was working out of a space in downtown LA and was willing to open it up to me. I got off the call and we took the brand to Los Angeles, starting our second collection 6TH GEAR. Eventually Chaz wanted to close his space since eventually I was the only one in there and his production had moved over seas. We acquired all the machines and set up shop ourselves. Up to this point we haven’t moved production from LA apart from experimenting with producing in Japan on certain garments. LA is the best place in the country for making clothes, and making the move here came easily as we can get anything we need done.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting your own business, I don’t think ever goes smooth haha. Working in this business, there is always something that can go wrong, and if it can we have probably experienced it. I jumped into making clothes by saying “I want to make clothes”, the rest up to this point I had to learn. So its always been a challenge.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
We try and tell a story via fabrics. I wouldn’t say we specialize in one thing as we are still learning and growing. As a brand, we want to excel in several different disciplines. Working with leather and denim is two of our favorites, but we always want to learn more about tailoring and creating knits.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The journey to this point I don’t think could of gone differently because everything up to this point has been learning and knowledge building. So I could say come to LA right away instead of spending time NYC, but at that moment I wouldn’t have been ready and may not be answering these questions now. I needed that NYC time to build me up for LA. However, there are smaller things I would have done differently when it comes to garments or visuals.