We are in the midst of some true entrepreneurs, my fellow Skid Kids. This team of fashion-forward juniors and sophomores has gone above and beyond to create a cutting edge and socially conscious street-wear line ready for any trendy young adult: AllStolen Apparel Co. Read on to see how they got their start, what they’re focusing on, and what we can expect from this awesome brand in the future.
Name: Elizabeth Worgan ‘16
Major: Management & Business; Studio Art
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Name: David Florence ‘16
Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Name: Catherine Headrick ‘17
Major: Studio Art
Hometown: Boxford, MA
Name: Samuel Barback ‘17
Major: Management & Busineness
Hometown: Morristown, NJ
HC: How did you guys come up with the idea for AllStolen Apparel Co.?
ASAC: Dave and Liz had been working together on past clothing projects and decided to come together to create a line that could better translate to a mainstream market than their previous endeavors. Liz had worked with Catherine producing Skidmore’s Element Fashion Show before, so she asked Catherine to join the team as well. Once Sam had been hired, the four of us really cut into research and analysis of the clothing market and realized that a) street-wear is definitely the next big thing, b) the menswear category is consistently growing, and c) there is not street-wear made primarily for women anywhere right now. So we decided to capitalize on those missing elements of the market and make simple, cool designs that cater to the industry’s needs.
HC: What feedback have you been getting so far? Is it overwhelming?
ASAC: It is definitely overwhelming, but we like it. We got over 100 pre-orders in the first 72 hours of putting our social media live. In the past week, we’ve gotten nearly 100 new Facebook likes each day. We hope that continues, as the best thing we can do is get our brand out there.
HC: Tell us about your experience so far in the Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition:
ASAC: The Freirich Competition can be tough, as there are a lot of seasoned and talented competitors. Our endeavors had never made it past the first round in the past. This year, we really buckled down and worked harder than before. We also worked closely with various mentors to ensure the quality of our presentation. One thing we weren’t prepared for was how much the judges hated our original logo. This was surprising because we’d received such positive feedback from college students. But from an investor standpoint, it was too controversial. That’s just a part of this start-up process, though. You never really know what is going to work.
HC: Where do you guys get your inspiration for the brand?
ASAC: We pull from a lot of different influences. We all discuss and design everything together. The main thing we were focusing on when starting this brand was tattoo culture. We want to take the themes from those designs and simplify them — make them more versatile. But we all have a different set of influences. Liz has always pulled from punk and goth culture, with Dave coming from more of a biker background. Catherine has always taken cues from high-end designers like McQueen and Versace, whereas Sam takes more of a hip-hop approach to his aesthetic. When you take elements from all of these, you risk overwhelming the product, but our designs are highly focused on silhouette and simplicity. What you get instead is a unique and engaging product.
HC: Can you talk to us about the #ALLGIVEN fund and what they do?
ASAC: The #ALLGIVEN fund will take a portion of profits and use them to sponsor addicted, underprivileged youth to go to rehab. We’d really like to help give young people a second chance and erase some of the stigma around former addicts. Our Creative Director, Dave, was lucky enough to be able to afford his second chance, but it shouldn’t come down to a question of income. This fund won’t happen for a few years, as it would be largely irresponsible to begin this process of giving back before we could afford it. But social and ethical concerns are of the utmost importance to us. Our manufacturer is domestic, has fair labor, and is extremely energy-efficient and environmentally concerned. And all of our fabrics are either domestically sourced, organic, or Fair Trade!
HC: What has been the best part of starting this brand thus far?
ASAC: This is so much fun. We have a lot of late nights, because we usually can’t start working on this until all of our other schoolwork is done. But they’re always a good time. We try not to take ourselves too seriously cause this could fail at any time, regardless of our efforts. And the feedback has been great. It’s extremely validating, and nice to know that we’re on to something.
HC: What can we expect in the future from AllStolen Apparel Co.?
ASAC: Well, you can watch us compete in the final round of the Freirich Business Plan Competition on April 10th. We’ll also be competing in the New York State competition. By mid-summer, we’re hoping to have our first round of products out, which we’ll be testing in the Philadelphia market. Regardless of where we end up, we’ll always be trying to set a standard in terms of both style and social responsibility.