“I don’t think I would have learned so much about art and design if I had been raised in any other city,” says born-and-bred New Yorker Alexandra Koutsomitis. “I remember when, as a kid being driven to school, my architect parents would quiz me on who had designed the buildings on our daily route.”
Her early lessons in urban aesthetics led her to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn to study painting, and, during her senior year, she did a collection of large-scale still lifes and patterns that she really, really wanted to wear. Like, on a scarf. So, in 2013, she officially made the jump, from canvases hanging on walls to swaths of silk dangling from necks.
Her line Alexa Sofia was born right on the Upper East Side—that ‘hood where she learned to I.D. the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum at age seven. And though her story is all wrapped up in a neat little package, she likes when things get a little, well, weird. Her three foot by three foot creations showcase miniature sharks, jumbo bananas, and bright-blue chickens—stuff that appeals to those who see the scarf’s potential to go a little nuts. As Alexandra explains, “I like things that don’t necessarily make sense.” —jinnie lee