Fearless, authentic and dreamy… those are the keywords that match the new Belgian label Alexa Fairchild, named after its designer and founder. It’s not the next best fashion brand but rather a lifestyle project that doesn’t follow the traditional path. The entire collection is seasonless, gender-neutral and made from the highest quality to stand the test of time.
This inspiring story made us very curious, so we asked a few questions to Alexa Fairchild herself.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are and where you grew up?
My name is Alexa, I’m 23 years old and half American, half Belgian. I grew up between NY, Rome and Brussels.
How did growing up in different countries shape you as a person? And does it have an influence on your collections?
Growing up between Belgium, the US and Italy has given me a dual perspective and an openness which is quite unique. It definitely informs our collection in that there is a world view, a love of travel and an open-minded spirit.
What made you decide to do multiple drops per year and not to join the traditional fashion system of spring / summer and fall / winter collections?
We feel the existing fashion system isn’t relevant anymore. It is non sensical to be forced to buy summer clothes in February and winter clothes in August. We also feel the model of 2 seasons a year doesn’t reflect the way people dress or even the climate we face. Frequent drops help to keep things fresh and relevant.
On social media you’re posting about your ‘Freedom Tribe’. Can you explain what this means to you and can we join the freedom tribe?
The Freedom Tribe is at the heart of our brand’s concept. We want to be inclusive and welcome people with similar values to ours: fearlessness, authenticity and dreaming. Just like surfers or riders feel connected to a community, we want people who share our values and wear our clothes to feel part of the Freedom Tribe.
You spend a lot of time traveling, what are your favorite destinations?
I do travel quite a bit! My favorite destinations are: St. Barth’s, Portugal, LA and NY. Currently, I am dreaming of getting to Iceland.
Who’s currently wearing Alexa Fairchild? Can you describe this person / these persons?
We have quite a range of people wearing our clothes. From my 72-year-old grandmother, Mikal Edwards @mojoyogo, to Julie Hillman @juliehillmandesign a super talented interior designer from NY, to Alphonse Eklou @eklouu a fearless dreamer & Tessa Dixson @tessadixson a talented singer and song-writer.
Your grandfather, John Fairchild, means a lot to us and he’s someone we respect. From 1960 to 1997 he was one of the most powerful people in the fashion business. He was publisher and editor in chief of WWD from 1960 to 1996 and he also founded W Magazine in 1972. It’s a huge legacy to carry on. Do you often think about this? How did his legacy have an influence on you?
Yes, my grandfather has left behind a huge legacy. I am so impressed with what he achieved and he is an inspiration every day. However, growing up, I simply saw him as my strict and funny grand-father. I really didn’t have any idea till I was much older. I suppose his legacy drives me to do the best that I can so that he would be proud of what we have achieved.
Your grandfather changed the world in many aspects. How would you like to change the world?
My goal was never to change the world. But, if there were one thing I would like to achieve I guess it would be to inspire people to reach for their dreams, to be fearless and to be unique. One core value is to encourage people to have freedom of expression and to be true to themselves. I really want to connect people through this desire and curiosity for life and travel.
Your parents are quite interesting too. They both help build the Alexa Fairchild brand. How are they (and other family members) helping you with expanding the brand?
Yes, their insights have helped tremendously. Though my father works as the Chief Creative Officer at Pandora, he advises us and guides us every step of the way. My mother is involved in running the business, the marketing and every detail in between. We complement each other quite well as we all have different skills & talents. My sister Tasha also gives us some great advice and direction on many visual elements.
Why is it important to you to include your family into the process?
The brand was born as a family project. It evolved after many, many hours of brainstorming around the dinner table. So, we all contributed to its inception. It is named after me because I am the Creative Director but I am supported and shouldered by the entire family.
We’re sure you had your fair share of failures, like anybody else does. How do you react/respond to failure? And what do you do to get back up?
Actually, I have had to face up to failure quite a bit actually. In my career as a Dressage competitor for Belgium, I have endured a lot of knocks! It has been very good for me in many ways. One, it keeps you humble. Two, you can never rest on your laurels. Three, you want to win even more! Failing, I have learned, only makes you stronger and better. There is no shame in failing. Rather, it is a very important step in life I think.
Where would you like to be in 2 years from now with the brand?
Over the next 2 years, we want to perfect our product, fine-tune our delivery to market and increase the brand awareness. We hope to have become a recognized and respected brand with a loyal following and we hope to have grown our Freedom Tribe to a large number of fabulous people!