When we first heard that Steven Alan was collaborating with Dockers, to be honest, it took a few moments to fully sink in. But after some time marinating on the partnership, we realized that this pairing was actually quite inspired. Who better than Alan, the man behind the downtown revival of rumpled preppiness and slouchy elegance, to update Dockers' aesthetic? We got a chance to ask Steven a few questions about his thoughts on the brand, his vision for the collaboration and what makes a stylish guy.
Out:This partnership seems like a match made in heaven. How did this collaboration with Dockers come about? Steven Alan:Mordechai Rubinstein (www.mistermort.com) actually approached me and set things in motion. I had been thinking about doing a project with Levis/Dockers for quite a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
What did you feel you could bring to a label that has an incredibly strong brand image? I wanted to introduce a different sensibility and more targeted design aesthetic to this capsule collection. Dockers is known for their great quality and fit, but I wanted to tweak these aspects and put a more modern spin on them.
What were you able to bring to this collection that you aren't able to do with your mainline collection? How did you approach designing this collection versus how you approach your own line? I design my own line from the top down, focusing on the shirting aspect of the collection and working my way through the rest of the line. For the Dockers collaboration, I started from the bottom up. I began with the idea of refining the perfect pant, and started from that place. We had so much time to devote solely on making the pants, as well as the resources of the Dockers design team and archives, and I think you can really see that effort in the collection.
What inspired you throughout this process? Was there a certain customer or image you had in mind when designing for Dockers? Were you given access to their archives or was it more about looking forward than looking back? First off, I looked at the current lineup from Dockers and then I distilled what my own thoughts of the brand were. I was thinking back to my college math professor, a guy who had a classic style. Like I said, I wanted to put a slightly modern spin on the line, not completely change all the things that make Dockers such an iconic American brand. I did have access to the Levi/Dockers archives, which was an incredible experience and helpful in understating where the brand had been and where it could go.
What do you think are the essential pieces for the modern man's wardrobe? How much does fit have to do with the success of a look? I think that fit is the most important part of a look, no question. Essential pieces for today's man would have to be a pair of great jeans that both fit well and wear well; good, smart sneakers; a classic watch; and, of course, the perfect shirt, something relaxed and washed that strikes the perfect balance between too starched and too rumpled.
Who is someone you find particularly stylish? Bob Dylan in the 1960's.
Now that fall is quickly approaching, what are some cold weather go-to's that you find yourself relying on? I've already been wearing my own reverse-seam cashmere sweater quite a bit. I've also got an ultralight nylon ski parka from Relwen that's the perfect weight for fall. It's also just about time to break out my Alden Indie Boots.