Updated: Jul 24, 2020
A curious being, who follows her gut and believes in a conscious universe, almost like in Wonderland, Alice launched ALFIE with the vision of stripping away the burden of non-essentials.
Just clean, fun, comfortable womenswear, borrowed from the boys.
How was the idea for ALFIE born, what inspired it and made you start a label?
I have always been so attracted to my brothers’ closets, everything they wore seemed to be more comfortable, more versatile, even more fun! It made me think I was probably not the only girl dreaming of menswear basics. Clothes that are all about ease, that are unfussy and relaxed.
" I simply followed what my gut was telling me."
What was your biggest fear before you launched the label?
My biggest fear was the brand getting lost amidst all these new brands that are launched every day. Alfie was never about making more clothes in a world where we already have so much choice. It was always about inspiring people in a different way, telling a story they could identify with, and that they would want to be part of.
"That meant not following a seasonal calendar, but instead creating a community of people with the same passion and vision."
The idea that we are all feminine and masculine has existed for a long time. Tell us more about “Because there’s a boy in every girl”.
It is the desire to create a neutral territory, clothes with simple lines and classic shapes. There’s always been this preconceived idea that men only need a few basics, while women are obsessed with owning more.
"However, to me simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and that’s what Alfie wants to bring to womenswear. Gentler silhouettes, clean cut, not burdened with non-essentials."
What do you think is going to be the new normal for fashion going forward?
People were already getting conscious about what they buy, where it comes from, who made it and in what conditions. I think going forward, the fashion industry will have to adapt to a slower pace, less collections and less fashion weeks a year.
"The industry will need to rethink its need to produce more content and product in a saturated market. It has never been more urgent than now to go back to the essentials."
What is your new normal going to be?
Creating a fashion brand has made me more aware that waste is one of the biggest issues we face in our modern society. Personally I’ve shifted my shopping habits and I always ask myself, “Will I want to wear this in six months from now?” If the answer is no I refrain myself from purchasing it.
"I believe things of quality have no fear of time."
Alfie was launched in Jan 2020, just when the pandemic started to peak. Did it change anything about your vision or plan for the brand?
It surely made me realize that consumers would go towards brands they can trust and that meant truthful communication and transparency from the brand. Since the beginning the vision was always to work with French artisans to produce everything locally, according to demand, for a zero waste solution.
If there is one thing that the pandemic pushed us to do, it is to bring a genuine voice and honest perspective to the fashion industry.
"I like to say that, Alfie evolves in a conscious universe, where caring for our planet is at the top of the list."
What was the biggest challenge because of the pandemic and how did you adapt to it?
The atelier and fabric producers closed down one by one, I had to postpone the launch of new exciting creations for summer. (Recently launched though!)
That’s when I faced the first big challenge, how to stay in touch with our customers, and how to keep them interested?
I’ve always had a passion for travel, and I am a very curious person. It made me realize that creativity within a fashion brand is not and should not be limited to producing more clothes.
"This was the perfect opportunity to open up the doors of Alfie’s rebellious and playful universe, under the form of an online creative space for people to wander."
That’s how I created “The Alfie List”, a weekly curated guide of everything creative and more to escape to while staying at home. A guide I intend to continue monthly after the pandemic, as a lifestyle extension to the brand.
Where do you look for inspiration?
As a really curious person, everything that surrounds me inspires me. There is no limit to creativity and inspiration and that’s the beauty of it. But I have a bit of an obsession for the 90s, especially for Christy Turlington!
Alice grew up in Paris but her curiosity and obsession to discover new things pushed her to live and study in different countries for the past 6 years. London, Sydney, New York, Milan & back to Paris, if there is one thing all these cities have taught her is that diversity is key for creation and growth.
Her latest read was Tender is the Night by Scott Fitzgerald, her favourite book till date. Her favourite movie (and there are many) is The Talented Mr Ripley. "They both take place in south Europe, both are testimonies on post-war life (respectively France after WWI and Italy after WWII). Lives filled with wealth and travel, lived with indulgence and naivety, as if tomorrow did not matter. A point of view on the cyclical nature of life and how, we, humans deal with it."
Find Alice @alfietootsie @alfieparis
Shop at www.alfieparis.com