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alysia thomas longWhy Tranoi I asked Alysia? “I liked what they are about, how they treat designers. They give a lot of support – tell you which companies visit from which markets.” I would hope they did when you are shelling out a fair wedge to show with them, with of course no guarantees.

Alysia’s designs are very much a personal journey in every respect “Some ten years in the making,” she tells me, and all the more engaging a brand story for it. Especially when you see on sumptuous silk, photographs she has taken, many with a vintage Argoflex camera of her travels to foreign climes including the UK. In the wrong hands this could be a tad hobbyist and twee but it’s very much a professional offering with a desire to innovate with fabric and to maintain an ethos as a sustainable accessories business.

Launched recently in July 2015 I asked what was the tipping point that drove her to throw caution to the wind and finally commit to what all her friends have been telling her for years? “Developments in digital textile printing technology in the last five years, the things I saw in Liberty’s in London. I thought that looks awesome, I can totally do that.” I laughed at the phraseology. You may be guessing she is originally from the US, but very much an Anglophile with a lively sense of humor, necessary (for me) on a crisp Paris morning at Tranoi. “It took two years to source how to do it in a sustainable way – I only print on 100 per cent natural fibres: 100 per cent silk, Egyptian cotton, and cashmere – all from Italy.”

The focus on menswear came from seeing a hole in the men’s market. I had to agree, it’s kind of gaping when you consider the staggering array of imaginatively arranged (sic) monotonous zigzag diagonal stripes and dotted tie patterns (mimicked without censorship in pocket handkerchiefs) in most stores. AT’s designs are currently sold in Wolfe & Badger and Mancave in London and online predominantly. Tranoi hopefully will add to this list and will follow up with her to get both sides of the story.

One of the “happy by-products of being in this business is work with and support young designers” whose work she hopes to show as a collaboration with two street artists next year, but no intention to “cheapen the brand with too many collaborations.” The ‘London’ part of the brand name is because Alysia wants it to have a home, to ground it – just happens to be where she lives. The print factory is in Manchester – which took 2 years to source. Nothing rushed but a strong desire to get it right. (‘Go’ brand UK!) And no ego issues seemingly to contend with. “I’m thinking about my so-called signature, but hate logos…I might put a little AT on the products, we’ll see.” What is important are the ‘exclusive’ nature and feel of the products. “I want the buyer to feel they are limited print runs and that they are buying something special, unique.”

The retail price points for the pocket squares are £45 cotton, £50-55 silk and Wool/ cashmere scarves £250.  I’d like to see this brand mature and continue experimenting with the medium, with increased exposure and success, for all the right awesome reasons. Totally.


By Paul Markevicius

Related articles:

Where To Show…Where To Go

Interview: Tranoi Preview Ambassador – Muriel Piaser

Meet Armand Hadida – Artistic Director of Tranoi

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