Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Parker.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Shortly after finishing undergrad in NC I moved to L.A. in 2008 with nothing but a suitcase and a dream. I hit the ground running and landed my first job in the industry after about two weeks (lucky me!). I learned very quickly that the fashion industry can be brutal (to say the least). There were long hours, crazy bosses and very little pay.
But, over the last ten years, I have worked my way up in the industry working for a variety of companies and have had the opportunity to see my designs in stores like Nordstrom, Free People, and Urban Outfitters. But none of this compared to the excitement and fulfillment of seeing my own collection in a boutique on Melrose and then on the runway at L.A. Fashion week in 2016.
When I was working for large companies, I was designing whatever someone else was asking for, but AllAlong (my contemporary line) came straight from the heart. I kept up my full-time work designing for a big company while creating AllAlong, but when our office moved, I decided it was time to focus more on my own stuff.
Since then, over the last year, I developed my t-shirt line called L.Alien. This is an idea I came up with ten years ago upon arriving in L.A… I realized that I was surrounded by so many others like me: passionate, motivated, creative, forward-thinking people. We all moved here from all around the world to follow our dreams, find ourselves and be everything we want to be.
I started calling these people (my fellow “suitcase and a dream” people)–“L.Aliens.” I created a t-shirt line in their honor, inspired by all the crazy beautiful people I’ve met over the last ten years. L.Alien has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done since my fashion show in 2016. Not only is it a unique t-shirt line, it is a lifestyle brand that represents and features L.Aliens.
I have been interviewing many of these L.Aliens and will be sharing their stories with the world through my website and social media. My favorite thing about it is creating the opportunity to meet so many amazing and fun people and getting to see them wearing and loving my designs!
Has it been a smooth road?
The road has been anything but smooth, but the struggles have been worth it. Without the hard work that I’ve put into my career as a fashion designer for other companies and basically selling my soul to the ‘Devil Wears Prada,’ I would not be where I am today—stronger, smarter, and continually achieving the goals I set for myself.
It took a lot of hard work and an unspeakable amount of sleepless nights get to this point, but I have built a network of resources and strengthened my skills as a designer and businesswoman. I guess in a way I live for the struggle and the challenge. I imagine if it was easy, I might be bored. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been one to take the easy road.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the L.Alien and AllAlong story. Tell us more about the business.
L.Alien is not only t-shirts but represents the lifestyle of passionate creatives who place no labels or limits on themselves. It portrays the vision of dreamers and go-getters and reminds us that nothing is impossible when you put your mind to something. I love that Los Angeles welcomes these types and I aim to not only bring them together but lift them up and remind them that they are the types of people that make the world a brighter more colorful place.
As for the clothing, I want the tees and loungewear to be as unique as L.Aliens feel in this world and comfy enough to live in everyday. I aim to use the softest possible fabrics with vintage touches as a nod to the hippies of the 60s and 70s who first donned the free-thinking, peace-loving lifestyle.
AllAlong is fun, versatile, sexy, whimsical, and eclectic. I enjoy playing with patterns and color as well as versatility – for example, I have a skort that transforms to shorts and a separate shawl and scarf; I also have a dress that’s reversible. I am always thinking of new, inventive ways to make my clothing transformative – probably because I have always been one to feel the need to change my outfits frequently, whether it’s because of a change in the weather or occasion or just boredom with what I’m wearing.
AllAlong is meant to be more than something that just looks good on a runway – I want people to feel confident and comfortable wearing AllAlong. I strive to make timeless pieces that can be worn for a variety of occasions and plan to expand the brand beyond women’s clothing to eventually include shoes, accessories, and even menswear. My long-term vision is a comprehensive, worldwide luxury brand.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
There will always be L.Aliens. We are forward thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs with endless opportunities to change the world for the better. I love that I’ve found a sure way to stay immersed in this community as they inspire me daily.
I envision L.Alien as something that people not only wear but as a way they refer to themselves as creative dreamers living a life that is colorful and fulfilling. I want to see L.Alien stickers, tags, and tees all over L.A. as people take pride in their art and their own unique paths that have led them to wherever they are today. I hope that the concept brings people together and encourages them to give their dreams a chance to flourish, grow, and become realities.
As AllAlong expands, unique versatility will remain at the forefront. One thing I’ve learned from my work with L.Alien that many creatives have in common is the struggle to focus and make choices among our many ideas. I’ve criticized myself for years, but AllAlong rejoices in indecision by saying, “Why should I have to decide? Can’t I have it all? Pattern, solid; short, long; day to night. I can have all of it, AllAlong.”
- Website: www.lalienstyle.com | www.allalongapparel.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @lalienstyle | @allalonglust
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristinmichelleparker
Lorenzo Hodges, Megan Duffy