Dialogue Series No. 7 / Alex Crane

We are more than honored to present and host Alex Crane as our May Pop Up at both SF & DTLA locations.
Being from San Francisco, Alex grew up half at thrift stores and half hammering things and sewing clothes in his basement. He moved to the East Coast for college and ended up living in Brooklyn and designing bags at Jack Spade until he decided to start making things on his own.
His pieces and light and easy, comfortable yet stylish, useful things things for the modern, working people. For him work and play are one and the same.
Marta: I guess the first question would be how did it all start? How did this line come to life?

Alex: I started daydreaming a couple years ago while I working at Jack Spade as a bag designer. I wanted to build something for all the new professionals out there, the folks that think work and play are one and the same. Most brands talk about work like it’s something to endure, but that’s not how I see it - I’d do this even if I didn’t make a dime. And, we’re so free now. With a phone in your pocket, you can run a business from anywhere. It’s an amazing time to be an entrepreneur.

M: Did you always know that this was what you wanted to do?

A: I’ve always made things. When I was a kid, I’d play around with materials until I figured them out (duct tape, leather, canvas, ink, anything really). And colors always mattered to me - I knew how I wanted the world to look (aesthetically, at least. In other ways, I’m totally lost). It wasn't until my early twenties that I learned that I could make it a career.

M: What are the first steps when designing a new collection? Do you start by a color palette, or a textile, or a pattern? What is the first inspiration that sets all in motion?

A: I start with a story I want to tell. My fall collection is about my great-great- grandfather’s fishing cabin in the Pacific Northwest (he was a serial entrepreneur at the turn of the 20th century). Then I gather images that tell the story and pull out the right colors. And, once that’s done, it’s just about finding the fabrics and shapes that fit the spirit.
M: How would you describe in a few words what your brand is? What are the fundaments of it? And what keeps you motivated to continue doing what you do?

A: I call it “playa work.” It’s about working hard at what you love. We'll see if it catches on... And, at this point, motivation really isn’t an issue. Most of the time I have to fight just to keep my motivation in check – I want to do everything at once and I have to remember to take a breath.

That said, if I ever need to remind myself why I make clothes: I'm very inspired by my manufacturers. All my products are made in Brookyln and New Jersey by immigrants who arrived to America with nothing and started their own businesses. I work with Lebanese, Polish, Ecuadorian, Romanian and Mexican immigrants. We work very closely together and it's a blast. We're all rooting for each other.

M: We are super excited to have you at the shops for the whole month and so excited about you being able to create your own little space in them! But we always wonder why did you choose Voyager? What was it about us that made you think it would be a good space to stock your line?

A: Voyager fits my spirit – casual but ambitious. Marta + Valerie have a clear vision, sharp eyes and open minds. They want to showcase designers and tell their story. And I love all the brands they’ve brought together. And, hell, even the name “voyager” feels right...

M: And to finish the classic question of how do you see the line in 10 years, but I want to know more about where would you like to see it?

A: I imagine a business with Japanese-like simplicity. I want to build something clean and clear, where everything fits together just right. 
Simple product, natural colors, open and light-filled stores. And, wherever possible, we'll be close to the ocean.

I hope the brand will inspire people who dream of striking out on their own.


May 2016

Opening party San Francisco:

Saturday April 30th / 6pm - 9pm

Opening party Los Angeles:

Saturday May 14th 6pm - 9pm

*All pictures provided by Alex Crane


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