Introducing streetwear designer: Max Alexander

Max Alexander on creating his own fashion brand, BRYDER

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Max Alexander’s brand BRYDER reimagines contemporary streetwear, using a variety of textile processes to create bold looks that are fit for both a runway and house party alike. We chat with Max about his route into fashion, how the industry could make steps to improve, and his advice to creatives looking to start their own brand.

What was your route into fashion? Was it something you always thought you'd do? 
Growing up I always said that I wanted to be an inventor, I would draw gadgets and car interiors and even things like foldable bikes, I was naturally drawn to the idea of designing new things. I started a 3D design course at college and had every intention of entering the furniture design industry, it wasn't until halfway through that I decided that starting a fashion brand was the route I wanted to take instead. This was largely because of my interest in streetwear and fashion in my late teens but also because I saw more career opportunities here. The menswear market was, and still is, an exciting place that's growing and expanding. We're seeing a lot of young, unknown designers making a name for themselves within the industry which is something I wasn't noticing in other industries such as furniture design. 

What was your experience like before you started your own brand? 
When I joined the Fashion Design course at Brighton, I had no experience designing clothing whatsoever. In my interview, I remember showing up with a 3D design portfolio and about 10 outfits that I had drawn placed at the back. Luckily the course leader seemed to be interested in my technical approach to design and gave me a place on the course. I found it difficult at first, from working with wood and screws to fabric and thread, but over a couple of years, I slowly got my bearings. During my placement year I interned at Craig Green, this was an inspiring time as it showed that the goal I have is achievable. An environment with the sole purpose of taking creative ideas from concept to fruition was so exciting to me and gave me the push I needed in my final year to establish my own design identity.

Tell me a little bit about your brand!
BRYDER's purpose is to reimagine contemporary streetwear. Creating collections with strong concepts behind them allows people to become more connected with the garments and to take care of them. I want to make clothes that are built to last, that are as interesting brand new, as they will be in twenty years. True pieces that people can be proud to have in their wardrobe. Each collection will explore a new idea but will stay true to the brands' identity so I can look back at a cohesive body of work.

What bit of advice would you give to anyone starting out in fashion?  
Stay true to what you believe in and why you wanted to get involved in the industry in the first place. It's easy to lose yourself in someone else's work and forget about your own ambitions, if there's something you want to achieve you should go for it. 

What are your hopes for the future? 
To push ideas out that positively benefit those that come across them. Whether that be a collection from BRYDER that resonates with one single person or thousands of people, as long as I'm creating new ideas and enjoying the process, I'll be satisfied with that. Creativity is something that needs to become more accepted and practised within our society, rather than looked at as hobbies. If I can be a small part of a large movement that encourages people to explore their creative ideas rather than settle for the desk job that society tells them they need, that would be a huge accomplishment. 

How do you think the fashion industry could be changed for the better?  
I think the big change that needs to happen is pushing out the idea to make clothes that are built to last 5,10, even 20 years rather than to be worn once for one event/outing and to never be worn again, eventually ending up in landfill. The fast fashion industry needs to update its practices and people are starting to realise this. Boycotting fast fashion brands and opting for smaller businesses is helping to get this message out, these big corporations will only change when it is forced upon them. 

You can check out BRYDER here!

Words: Grace Goslin