To be successful as a clothing company or fashion brand, businesses have to deliver innovative concepts and creative designs with the applied business know-how and expertise to generate growth and interest from consumers. With a commitment to unconventionality, Retro Rebel – a client of The Accelerator in Middletown – is fostering a unique network of designers, artists and creators to develop a clothing movement that’s more than just another brand.
More than fashion
Retro Rebel launched its first design in September of 2018. The SftLnch Tee represents the brand’s commitment to inspiring people to be themselves and to embrace the things that make them unique. Through collaboration with designers and artists, Retro Rebel seeks to develop a creative community that gives individuals the opportunity to get their work out there in ways that they haven’t before. Retro Rebel Founder J Alexander hopes that his company helps develop his community and inspire other young entrepreneurs.
“Clothing is the backing of my business, so when people see it they will see a clothing brand, but that’s not my sole purpose, that’s not where I want it to end,” says Alexander. “I see myself in stores with my clothing, I see myself in my own brick and mortar, but within the clothing it will be more about helping my community and making sure that I have workshops for kids and young entrepreneurs that want to be in the fashion business, or be in any business.”
Since the brand’s launch in September 2018, no new lines have been released. Alexander says that this is due in part to the way that he wants to shape his brand moving forward. He feels strongly about the importance of sustainability and environmental friendliness, and he wants his brand to reflect a commitment to the future of the planet.
“One of the ways that I think I could be more effective in my helping (the planet) is with my clothing,” says Alexander. “If I’m going to be doing a clothing brand, I should use my platform to help the world. My sustainable clothing would be eco-friendly, without plastic or anything that is not decomposable and it may include recycled material. That’s my goal. I want to be a sustainable brand.”
Since Alexander was a student at Middletown High School, he has always been known for his unique style and tastes. While many of his classmates were getting into football, he was focused on performing in school musicals and developing his modeling career. He wanted to do the things that made him happy, regardless of what society said. He considered himself a rebel, and his style was inspired by retro fashion trends. The name Retro Rebel is a reflection of Alexander’s personality.
“The name Retro Rebel came from a self-discovery; knowing that I’m different, knowing that it’s OK to be different and knowing that my style is timeless,” says Alexander. “It could be the normal everyday wear of today, or I could switch it up and bring something that people haven’t been wearing for a while and still make it look good.”
Retro Rebel is a Workplace for Emerging Businesses (WEB) client at The Accelerator with plans to develop the beginning stages of the business into a profitable lifestyle brand.
Currently, Retro Rebel works with models, photographers, designers, videographers and creatives on a contract or volunteer basis, but Alexander hopes to build something bigger for himself, his colleagues and his community as a whole. He hopes to create high quality clothing, to inspire creativity and to educate others in his community through his brand.
“It is a clothing business, it is a fashion business, but it’s more than that,” says Alexander. “It’s a community effort. I’m here to help my community and I’m here to share my knowledge.”