ALAKAZIA’S NEW FORMULA
Byline: Julee Greenberg
NEW YORK — Alakazia is back on the scene. This time, he has T-shirts.
Alakazia, as he’s known both personally and professionally, has been in the fashion business since the late Seventies, when he landed his first job at Guess as the junior sportswear and dress designer. Since then, he has worked for a variety of fashion companies, including Cherokee, Jonathan Martin, Emanuel Ungaro, Mondi and most recently, May Co.
He ran his own sportswear company, Alakazia Inc., from 1985 to 1991, reaching a volume of $20 million annually. Alakazia closed the business and moved to Europe when his mother died. Now, his next step is Loyal Tees, a contemporary T-shirt line that showcases his best talent: sketches.
The first collection offers four groups: Patriotic, Ying & Yang, Glamour Girls and Pop Art. Each group highlights an aspect of Alakazia’s artistic styling.
He created the Patriotic collection after Sept. 11 as a tribute to those lost in the attacks. Ying & Yang shows abstract faces of women in different poses. Glamour Girls consists of sketches of Forties actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, while Pop Art is a tribute collection to Andy Warhol.
All Tees are white, to showcase the sketch clearly, and they are available in three different sleeve lengths. The shirts wholesale from $39 to $56. Alakazia opened the company almost two months ago in Los Angeles but is moving to New York before the end of this month. After the move, he plans to change the line a bit to offer a wider variety of shirt styles, including boat, cowl and crew necks.
“It was OK to leave the line the way it is now in L.A., but in New York, I have to offer a wider range of styles,” he explained. “So it will move from a T-shirt line to a line of tops.”
He just signed with a New York showroom, Victoria Watson Ltd., who will carry the full collection.
“My clothes are a mix of Max Mara, Chanel and Kmart,” he said. “The Max Mara for the cleanliness, the Chanel style and the Kmart volume I hope to have.”
Alakazia predicted the line will bring in $1 million in sales before yearend.