Interview: Alice Pelati, ALIS 1996 Brand owner and Fashion stylist
Name: Alice Pelati
Profession: Fashion stylist and founder of Alis 1996
Explain your perfect morning! Wake up early, 6 AM, shower, coffee, skincare routine and start to work on my laptop. If all this happens with a sea view is the perfect morning! Who’s your role model? I do not have a specific role model in my life. My mother taught me to be mature and responsible, when I was young. In general, I mainly take inspiration from what and who surround me in that specific moment of my life.
What is your all-time favorite song? "She moves in her own way" The Kooks. What would you say to your 15-year-old self? Enjoy life and do not judge people from the outside, anyone can reserve special surprises.
Let's take it from the beginning! Tell us why you are located in London, how you got there, and what London is uniquely giving you. I graduated at university in fashion design back in 2018, and as most of the young people, after a life studying, you want to enjoy real life. I jumped on a plan with my twin best friends one week later and I went for an adventurous summer to Ibiza, with the idea of working as a promoter for three months over there. Unfortunately I am not the kind of person that can party all day in a hot place, so after 10 days of sunburn, I decide to leave. But I did not want to come back to Italy without a plan. So, with the little money left, in 24 hours, I decided to take a plane for London to meet up a friend of mine who had recently moved there. I left my friends and Ibiza with only bikinis in my luggage, to start my own life.
You know when things have to go in the right way and they do. In a week I was already working in a restaurant in Camden, I had all the UK documents, and was sharing a cozy flat with lovely girls, in Marylebone. I totally changed my mind and started to fall in love with this city. I met the best people that gave me so much support especially at the beginning, and saw the best places I could ever ask. I love London and the Londoners today, because it is so easy to meet new people and socialize. There is no judgement, everybody is laid back and are enjoying life. Is also a city where you can grow professionally as here the companies reward employers by meritocracy. You have everything you need and you can literally feel a citizen of the world.
Living in one of the most likable capitals of the world, it can not be easy to start your own brand and company there. How did you do? Unfortunately Alis 1996 was born in the Covid era, so I never had the chance to network properly and physically talk about it. I think that living in London can be a good thing, because here people are interested in sustainability and small business. Even though on our platform we do not focus only on UK business but we decided to look up also to European brands, to give a broader view to the customer.
Tell us about your brand ALIS1996 - what is your vision, and what does the brand stand for? I founded Alis 1996 with the aim to create an online platform to share and propose to the customers small fashion business products. I am coming from Italy and from a family of artisans, so everything that is locally made and craftsmanship, for me, has a great value. This is why our goal is to build a community of emerging designers. We want to support slow fashion and ethical beauty. At the moment the platform is dedicated to women as we feature only women own brands, and we host around 10 brands, with almost 200 products, but we are looking forward to expanding our target. As a fashion entrepreneur, where did you get inspired for this project? Is there anything, in particular, you’re getting inspiration from? Specifically for Alis 1996 I got inspiration from many companies. To nominate few, Wolf & Badger and Browns.
If you only could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would you wear? What would you invest in? Probably it would be a suit, with double-breasted oversized blazer, dad pants and see-through shirt with a 70s collar. Gold jewelry, leather belt and a pair of boots with a little heel.
Dive more into ALIS1996! You have more than one brand presented on your platform. Where did that idea come from, and what is your vision plus future with encouraging other entrepreneurs on the website?
The idea came to me around two years ago. I always wanted to help talented people to grow up, (one day I would love to finance scholarships in fashion university, for young students). At the same time my mother, who is a talented costumes designer, realized a fashion collection and didn't know how to propose it online. So I decided to take this as my first experience. I shot the ecommerce pictures and opened Alis 1996 to host her products. From there I started to think bigger and wanted to grow the platform. And there we go!
Your keywords are: UNIQUENESS, PERSONAL IDENTITY, and HIGH QUALITY. What does that mean to you, and in which way is that reflected into the platform?
Yes, those are the values that we look for each brand that is joining the platform. With this project we want to promote a conscious customer experience and shopping. We want to explain to the customers that is right, today more than ever, to start to invest in their closets. We believe it is better to buy less items, and those that bring you a value, something special, and last longer. Get something that is unique and in limited stock, so only you will wear. We believe each one of us has his own personal identity, and fashion and beauty are the best way to express it.
Today it is very hard to not think about slow fashion. I know this is important to you too. What is your take on this part of the industry?
The world of fashion reflects the consequences of society, technology and the ecosystem. It is not a coincidence that buying from a small business has become a trend now, a moment of crisis, for humanity and for our planet. We are going back in time, when people were buying from small village shops, where you could find things made to measure for you and of high quality. I am so happy that people step by step are rethinking of their shopping process. With this, I do not want to say that no one has to buy from luxury or fast fashion anymore, but I hope that one day all the three realities will be able to coexist together.
We love to hear about other people's visions and dreams. What is your dream and where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to expand the platform, increasing views, media attention and sharing more brands. I would also work more on the blog part of the platform, with interviews, editorials and news in the industry, making it also a media website . I dream to open some showrooms around the world, giving the opportunity to small businesses to show physically their products, with pop-up stores.
If you would give some advice to someone who is dreaming to start their own fashion line, design or company within the fashion world. What is your best advice?
Find a specific product or style you would like to propose, and find your own values, explaining why they are so important to you. The competition within the fashion industry is very tough, this is why you have to work on something different from every other brand. Something that will make people come to you, straight away. Good luck!