It’s the small things that matter—especially the ones that involve mythical creatures.READ MORE
Anna Zeman and Aja Singer of the tailored womenswear line Alex & Eli take things seriously—which is, in fact, how they got to be friends. “We were always very early to school,” explains Anna of their time as grad students at Parsons. “I mean, we were still total art-school kids—we looked weird, dressed weird—but we were anal. And our work was always done.”
When it came time to start navigating their post-academic fashion careers in 2008, they became obsessed with the idea of women’s suiting, which required a precision that appealed to their exacting natures. So they put their (big surprise here) prestigious internships and side-gigs to work—and quickly landed their new project appearances on Gossip Girl and in the pages of
WWD. “I was doing pattern-making at Zac Posen, which was intensive in terms of learning construction. And at Carolina Herrera, I discovered the sort of detail and structure that you don’t see much in American sportswear,” says Aja. Anna did time with Rodarte and Chado Ralph Rucci and was working in the men’s department at Barneys when they first started the line. “I was able to hang around with the tailors and watch them do fittings,” Anna says. “I would come with notes. I’d get all excited like, ‘Oh! We’re going to drop the collar!’” —erica
BEHIND THE SCENES
Working with suits requires a whole new vocabulary.
But both of the designers are holding onto some of their science-y dreams.