brands we love: alala
Created for the women who believe that they can both do and have it all, Alala creates stylish athleisure wear for the powerful, modern woman. From the board room to the gym, Alala holds up to the woman who is constantly on the move. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Founder, Denise Lee, to learn more about how Alala got its start, the biggest lessons he and the team have learned in business and where she hopes to see Alala grow in the future.
How was the company founded?
In 2012, I was looking for performance wear that reflected my NYC style aesthetic but also lived up to my technical expectations as I trained for a triathlon. I didn't find a brand I loved, and with that, the idea for Alala was born.
What problem were you (or are you consistently) trying to solve?
We create apparel that help women feel like a goddess all day, no matter where they're going or what they're doing. We strive to create athleisure pieces that marry style, comfort and sophisitication for women of all shapes and sizes.
Can you tell us more about the name?
Alala is the name of a Greek Goddess. Her name stands for a Battle Cry - a reminder for all of us to continue striving for our dreams and fighting for what we believe in.
Can you tell us more about the actual products themselves? What goes into creating a piece or a collection from start to finish?
Style, comfort, sophistication and versatility are our key pillars in product design. We have become known for our amazing fits and luxurious fabrics, which we source from the best mills around the world. We take inspiration from fashion, cultural trends and our hometown of New York City, but our 100% female team is always thinking about how the pieces will fit and feel on our customer as she moves throughout her day. We spend at least 6 months perfecting each style and fit them at least 3 times before going into production. We also wear-test and wash-test our new styles. This allows us to perfect the fit on different body types, test the quality of the fabrics and make sure we truly believe in every single style we put out.
Who are the pieces designed for? Who is your target audience or ideal customer?
Alala is luxury athleisure wear for powerful women. We design for the modern woman who lives her life with the audacity to believe that she can do it all and have it all. The universe is her oyster and every day is another opportunity to make her mark on the world.
What have been the biggest roadblocks faced in business so far?
COVID has certainly been a challenge for us in a variety of ways. With severe production delays and rising prices of raw materials and shipping, I've learned that clear communication with our customers has been the best way to deal with these roadblocks and unpredictability.
How do you see Alala continuing to grow in the future? What’s next?
The vision for Alala is so much bigger than just apparel. We built a brand around powerful women and will find ways to serve her in different aspects of her life. Her physical fitness is important, but so are her mental and spiritual health, as well as her contributions to society. I hope that as a brand we can grow along with her in some of these ways. Nearer term, we are super excited about our tennis and golf capsules, which we are building out in a big way in 2022.
Biggest tips for entrepreneurs or those who might have an idea they’re hesitant to put some momentum behind?
Take the messy action. You'll never find a perfect time to start a business, have the perfect idea or have the perfect roadmap for success. But taking messy action to make your idea a reality is the most important thing to realize your dream. You'll make mistakes and learn along the way and that's way better than waiting for the perfect time.
What’s your favorite piece of Alala right now (if you had to choose!)?
How does Alala support women in all of their various daily Pursuits?
We are an all female team with a woman-of-color founder. I believe that we inspire by example and through our love of our brand and customers. We are not afraid to stand up for social issues that we and our customers believe in. We also showcase inspiring women, inclusivity and diversity through all our channels and encourage community through our social media presence and store events.