Aja Singer and Anna Zeman are fashionably known as Alex & Eli. The Parsons grads started their line shortly after graduation in 2009 because they felt the world was calling for “amazingly-made and edgy tailored clothing from New York,” and at a price point worth the investment. The appeal of Alex & Eli is in the details, an aesthetic that’s been crafted and refined: uneven hems, sheer fabrics, asymmetrical seaming, and roomy fits. They’ve also got serious cred and experience behind them; Singer interned for Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera, Zeman held an apprenticeship at Chado Ralph Rucci and interned for Rodarte. Working out of Singer’s SoHo apartment, the pair are stepping up their game and getting some serious attention. Most recently, the label is now being stocked in the first Canadian outpost for Intermix, the much-anticipated, high-end multi-designer boutique that originated in New York. And this is still the beginning.

What inspires you?

Everything from music, to old movies to social movements and ideas. We approach design through concept, then break it down and transform theory into wearable clothing.

How has business shifted since you started?

It hasn’t really. We are still daily inspired and challenged by redefining the suit. How we as designers can make Alex & Eli modern, edgy, new, and exciting is what keeps us focused!

What was the biggest shock starting your label?

We started as designers and jumped full force into being business owners. The most surprising thing is to turn around and see how much just the two of us have accomplished with the brand – we wear many hats throughout the day.

Who is your customer, your muse?

We design for ourselves, a reflection of a woman that is not defined by trends. A woman who is confident and unique, yet effortless and just plain cool.

Where do you want to take the brand in the future?

Our own brick and mortars!

Any dream collaborations?

A movie where we could outfit everyone in edgy suits.

Your fashion dinner date, past or present, would be…

Anna: Gianni Versace
Aja: Alber Elbaz, designer of Lanvin

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to aspiring designers?

Work your buns off. It’s very tough, but oh so rewarding.

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