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Meet Julian Abdul of Alba Designs in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julian Abdul.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Julian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well it all began in Atlanta, Georgia where I lived my entire life until the age of 19. I graduated high school in 2015 and I really was not sure on my next move in life, whether it was going to be me attending college or me getting a 9-5. I worked the night shift at UPS and during the day I was a host at Buffalo’s Cafe. I worked both jobs for a year; and then transitioned into only working at UPS when I was promoted to supervisor. As much as I disliked both jobs, I learned valuable lessons during those times that stick with me to this day; communication and accountability being the biggest two. At 19, I moved out to Los Angeles, California to begin my real journey.

So now how I ended up in LA! In Summer 2016, I took my first trip visiting some friends from high school. During that time, I was introduced to ALBA Designs, a custom clothing company that I still work for to this day. I was offered an internship and only had a few months to go back to Atlanta to pack my bags, and to be ready to begin my future by August. Luckily, I knew some friends who were currently living in LA that had a room available for me. I said my goodbyes to Georgia and moved in August 2016 and started my internship with ALBA Designs. The company ALBA designs is a bespoke clothing company that works with professional athletes in all sports and the entertainment industry. I was amazed at the process of garments being made and seeing them fully developed. I interned at ALBA for four months without any pay before being hired on.

Luckily for me, I had roughly $4,000 saved up from working both jobs in Atlanta. At the time, I thought that was a lot of money just to soon realize it was nearly gone in those four months. Finally, I was hired on as a designer for ALBA and was the first and only male designer there. I have always had a passion for being the best dressed wherever I would go. For me, it started with sneakers and then transitioned into clothing. Over the years of getting deeper into the fashion industry, I’ve designed suits for the Grammys, the BET Awards, the NBA and NFL Draft, and the Wearable Art Gala. Aside from custom clothing, my best friend and I created a brand called “Better Days LA.” We started the brand for fun in 2016 when I first moved to Los Angeles, but soon we realized how important our message was for the world to hear. Since then, we have had the opportunity to spread our message globally.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has been extremely difficult for me. My mother is a single parent and really is not able to help me out financially, which drives me to go harder each and every day. Leaving the house at 19 with no financial support and having to bank on yourself for food, housing, transportation and clothing is a lot to handle. I have been blessed to meet some great people throughout this journey whom have let me rent a room in their home when times got hard. Some months I would even have to work odd jobs around the house to help pay rent if I could not come up with the money. Not having a car in LA makes it tough to get to work, but I had to make the best out of my current situation, so my only option left is public transportation. Although it gets overwhelming at times, I have no choice but to thug it out.

As far as work is concerned, it honestly has been amazing. I am able to meet new people almost every week, and travel to go see clients all the around the world. I love being able to build relationships with my clients and create a family like environment through work. Each client has their own individual taste, so the both of us together are able to design a custom garment that fits them perfectly.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Currently, I am still a designer at ALBA Designs. We specialize in custom clothing, which includes suits, jackets, leather goods, etc. Me being the only male at the company and working around majority male clientele, I have an advantage of bonding with them on a different level than just trying to sell them clothing. What sets us apart from other custom clothing companies is we have all of our tailors in house. While the average turn around time for custom clothing is 2-4 weeks, we have turned around custom suits in 24 hours, which is unheard of.

Over the years, fashion has grown in the sports industry. The pre game tunnel is equivalent to the runway for athletes. It is my responsibility to ensure my clients make a statement when entering the arena. I take a lot of pride in the way my clients dress because at the end of the day, it is also a representation of myself.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment in my career was having the honor to dress Nickeil Alexander Walker for the 2019 NBA Draft. It was an amazing process to see his suit come to life from an idea we both agreed on instantly. Not only did I get to dress him, but I also had the opportunity to dress his mother and his uncle. His mother looked amazing and she was just so excited which had me amped up. To be a part of that special moment in their lives was an honor and I will never forget seeing my suit walk across the stage on National Television. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

Contact Info:

  • Website: Betterdaysla.com
  • Phone: 6785243492
  • Email: julian.abdul15@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Ju.looks

Image Credit:
Ricky LA, K. White, Wasserman management group

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