Everyone's Allergic to Something, Allergic
Allergic uses mixed textiles and forms to explore the synchronicity of geometry and modern youth. Their clothing is strategic and experimental. The design process is developed through the relationship between textiles, forms and comfort. Each collection synchronizes classic techniques and ingenuity to express a modern attitude and futuristic objectivity, while challenging the conformative notion of femininity and sexuality. By creating poetic and functional aesthetics, we seek to empower individuals that wear our clothes through layering geometry and texture.
Today we sat down with co-founder, Phuong Nguyen, in Midtown, NYC.
How did Allergic start?
Allergic is made up of two designers, and we met through a mutual friend. I went to school in Parsons for design technology and I focused on more of the art side of like sculpture and fashion and identity. So fashion had already been an interest but I was doing it in a fine art capacity. Then I met my partner, who was also at Parsons, doing fashion design, and we started talking about the sort of things we wanted to create and we always go shopping together and talk about the sorts of things we'd want to see. After that we became roommates and we cleared some space to make a studio and started making clothes together.
Where did the name come from?
Interesting. So we were drinking and joking around - got really drunk - and starting saying "I'm allergic to this" and "I'm allergic to that". But then I had a spark of inspiration... Allergic is a word that sort of defines our generation, like everyone's allergic to something. Up until that point we only wanted to make clothes together, we didn't know what to call it. But then allergic came along and it was just the perfect word for it; something unexpected but also relatable.
What's the inspiration behind your designs?
For this first collection, I have always been interested in Japanese fashion designers, like Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto. I was also really into minimalism as an art movement. So that's basically where it all came from.
What have you got planned for the next few seasons?
We're working on our new collection right now. For this we want to go down more of the androgynous route, I want to get more menswear into the brand.
Would you maintain the Eastern influence?
Yeah. I love the minimalism and the cut. So we'll continue this as well as the big shapes and the comfortable fabrics.
How would you describe your creative process?
We mainly go to museums, and we talk a lot about what we want. From those experiences and conversations we build and develop ideas. We also see a lot of movies together and talk about what we read and see on social media.
Because there's two of you, what do you both bring to the table?
So she's more focused on the productive side, she's the one with the technical knowledge. The ideas come from both of us but I'm more focused on the art direction - the aesthetic of the brand and the identity.
Describe your customer
So my ideal customer is Solange. But besides her, we actually talk a lot about this, someone who is very comfortable in their own skin as well as someone daring. But also gentile and sophisticated.