Pascal Alouidor and Derek Smith are Alador and Smith, a Brooklyn-based clothing line that draws inspiration from everything under the sun, offering concept driven clothing with accents of class. Alouidor and Smith, both 33-years-old, are grown men and together they are making push for intelligence, sophistication and style by creating quality products that bridge yesterdayâ€™s youthfulness with todayâ€™s responsibilities.
â€œA lot of people have cleaned up their acts and they donâ€™t want a T-shirt that hangs down to their knees,â€ says Smith. Alouidor and Smith have the ability to deliver a lifestyle brand to an 18 â€“ 35-year-old demographic without shocking too many seniors. â€œWeâ€™ve been labeled in streetwear, but weâ€™re not going to go with the whole streetwear thing. Weâ€™ve been labeled to it, but we want to find out way out of it,â€ says Alouidor, adding that Alador and Smith hope to fully extend its line.
“I think we give them something that is clean, something that isnâ€™t as loud or bold, but goes along the theme of the whole multi-print, all-over print concept that is big.”
Format: Please explain how Alador and Smith was created.
Derek: Basically, Alador and Smith was created with me and Pascal, we met in college. We were advertising students and we had an interest in fashion and design, so we decided to come together to build something, because, at that point, Polo and Ralph Lauren were out, and everybody was doing the same thing. Our styles were similar so we decided to work together to work on our line.
Format: Please the design process at Alador and Smith.
Pascal: Alador and Smith is derived on themes. Every garment or T-shirt that we design is based off certain ideas, like the Blair Witch Project, we have a T-shirt that is derived from that. Basic concepts like the Day Dreaming T-shirt that we have, which is what some men do all the time. We have a microphone T-shirt that is based on love for music. Everything has a theme.
Derek: At this point and time, a lot of designers follow each other like sheep and our line is concept driven, a lot of clothing lines donâ€™t have any type of concept or direction. The goal is to satisfy your consumer, but, at the same time, your goal should not be to follow someone else, because your line wonâ€™t have its own identity.
Pascal: We usually collaborate. If I come up with something I let him know about and see where it could be pushed to or if the idea is a good idea. Mainly, everything is done in collaboration. I think thatâ€™s the best way to work with a company and a design team, because ideas come and he can say something that will improve the idea that I started on.
Format: Alador and Smith is a Brooklyn based company, please explain its relationship to Brooklyn.
Derek: It wasnâ€™t necessarily a Brooklyn-based company. The reason it was put as Brooklyn, is because that was our location with our central office for our members to meet and gather. To get everybody in one spot we have a particular location, basically, everyone is from all over the place, but me and Pascal are from Rockland County.
Pascal: We went to school in Brooklyn, so a majority of the ideas were derived from that area. I guess Brooklyn has a whole lot to do with it, but it didnâ€™t really originate from Brooklyn, but now itâ€™s heavy in Brooklyn.
Format: The Alador and Smith collection uses the acronym S.M.I.T.H. (So Many Intelligent Themes) please explain how Alador and Smith keep its designs intelligent.
Pascal: Inspiration can come from anywhere. Inspiration comes from movies, music, things that we joke about, things that we find interesting, but you really wonâ€™t see other people doing. We try to stay away from the norm â€“ If one person comes out with one design it seems that everyone holds onto that same design, but use different colors for it. We decided that we do our things off bright light influence, meaning itâ€™s a bright idea, itâ€™s an intelligent idea, something that you wonâ€™t see until you see it from us first.
Derek: Weâ€™re pretty outgoing people. If you hang out with us there is a lot of comedy, being observant to all the things around us. Not one particular thing influences us, because we get into a lot of different things. Art, music, obscure movies, smart comments, sarcasm, entertainment â€“ itâ€™s just not one thing influences us.
Format: On television, Alador and Smithâ€™s collection is a recent favorite with MTV, BET and NBC television show hosts, please explain how Alador and Smith has established a relationship with these hosts.
Derek: It works on different levels. For one, we created a buzz for ourselves before we made it to TV, so people kind of had an idea what Alador and Smith was. A lot of people, at some point, went looking for Alador and Smith and they actually got in contact with our sales people and went our show room. They actually requested it for MTV. The relationships that we built over time â€“ a lot of people like it for a particular reason, because itâ€™s something they havenâ€™t seen before.
Pascal: I think we give them something that is clean, something that isnâ€™t as loud or bold, but goes along the theme of the whole multi-print, all-over print concept that is big. We try to give people different colors. Colors that can be used, but are not overly loud, just clean products to a point where it may make you laugh and itâ€™s well presentable.
Derek: And itâ€™s not just your plain over-sized T-shirt. Our T-shirts fit you the way nice clean cuts should. A lot of people have cleaned up their acts and they donâ€™t want a T-shirt that hangs down to their knees.
Format: What has the Internet done for Alador and Smithâ€™s buzz?
Derek: At one point, we were on the Internet every week through the party scene, because a lot of individuals were wearing our clothes out at parties, different events, every place. A lot of people saw it on the Internet, because a lot of different artists would be at a party wearing our T-shirts. We also had a launch party, which had a lot of images on the Internet.
Pascal: Now, weâ€™re getting a lot of blogs. We have a German blog, a Canadian blog and weâ€™re branching out. The Internet has been big for us, because, at one point, we did not have the backing to get our stuff every place, so we had to so a lot of legwork, a lot of self-promotion in order for us to even get a mention on the Internet. The Internet has done a lot of us. It keeps us striving for more.
Format: Please explain the challenges that Alador and Smith encountered as an up and coming line.
Pascal: We encountered a lot of challenges, because, at one point, the whole concept of Alador and Smith was just on paper and for a while it remained on paper. A lot of things we did like going to venues and trying to give T-shirts to tastemakers, celebrities or anybody that would get our name out there. That was a very difficult thing. If you have the love for it then you continue, but if youâ€™re in it for a certain thing it is easy to quit. There are so many clothing companies that could be here one day and gone the next. Those are the hard things; continuing to push as hard as you can. Financially it was definitely tough.
Derek: We had a lot of sleepless nights to try and produce goods for the people, in the early stages, before we were really established.
Pascal: At first, we had to learn how to do screen printing ourselves and we stayed up many nights messing up a lot of shirts, spent a lot of money, messed up a lot of money.
Format: Alador and Smithâ€™s tagline is â€œFly Like We, The Movement.â€ What does that mean?
Pascal: It goes along with the logo. The logo is the A&S bird, which can be exemplified as fashion with no boundaries. We donâ€™t want to set any limitations of what we want to bring out in the future. And, â€œFly Like Weâ€ is us trying to dress people to be fly and hopefully give them something they can push out from within themselves. Itâ€™s the whole movement of being fresh.
Derek: Above everyone else.
Pascal: Exactly. Getting everyone fresh to the best of our abilities â€“ fashion with no boundaries, just being fresh.
Format: Does Alador and Smith consider itself streetwear?
Pascal: Weâ€™ve been labeled in streetwear, but weâ€™re not going to go with the whole streetwear thing. Weâ€™ve been labeled to it, but we want to find out way out of it. We donâ€™t want to sit here and make a big fuss about it, hopefully, people can differentiate it. At this point, if we can fit into that and do it well, weâ€™ll build the buzz that we need to and progress.
Derek: Because weâ€™ll offer much more than just streetwear, at that point.
Format: Alador and Smith makes clothing for women and a lot of streetwear companies do not make womenâ€™s lines.
Pascal: The good thing about A&S is that weâ€™ve become accustomed to being around a lot of women to a point where they tell us what A&S means to them, or what it should be to them. For us, taking a chance with the womenâ€™s line is a chance within itself, because weâ€™re not females, nor do we know female design to that point.
Derek: A lot of females like A&S and a lot of a female lines look like theyâ€™re designed for little girls and not females in our age bracket. Females want to look nice, females want to look fly, too. If we can design for men we can design for women, too.
“On the road to riches, real people do real things. We have rags to riches, but on our road to riches we do real things.”
Format: Please explain the T-shirt design that reads â€œOn The Road To Riches & Diamond Rings Real Nig**s Do Real Things.â€
Derek: The Notorious B.I.G. did that freestyle, but itâ€™s not only his lyrics. On the road to riches, real people do real things. We have rags to riches, but on our road to riches we do real things.
Pascal: Everybody from music down, the diamond is the most important thing to people. Weâ€™re just trying to show that if we can get to that point, we want to show the struggle that we went through to get to that. Basically, itâ€™s the drive that will take us to get to a certain point. It speaks true to us, because weâ€™re coming from nowhere and weâ€™re trying to get somewhere. Weâ€™re trying to build the brand from nowhere to somewhere.
Format: How was your experience at the MAGIC Trade Show?
Pascal: We went to MAGIC last year, last August. This year, our fall stuff came in late so we werenâ€™t ready to go, but weâ€™ll be there this August for our lines and be ready to set this thing on fire.
Derek: MAGIC was a very good experience. It was our first time showing and for a small line with no publicity, basically no advertising, no nothing, we did well for ourselves. MAGIC catapulted us to where we are now. With MAGIC weâ€™re being distributed in China, Germany, Canada and a lot of local stores in the New York City area.
More Info: http://www.aladorandsmith.com