Back when ALIFE was founded in 1999, the street wear and sneaker movement was still in its early stages, and it was the New Yorkers who brought something exciting to a scene and an audience that was not being marketed to. With their strong sense of direction and willingness to stand out from the crowd, ALIFE has grown to become one of the most coveted streetwear labels of all time.
ALIFE’s story began on Orchard Street, New York when Arnaud Delecolle, Rob Cristofaro, Tammy Brainard and Tony Arcabascio came together to open their first space. Since its inception, ALIFE has always been far more than just the regular retail space. Deeply rooted in the artistic community of New York, ALIFE worked closely with the artists of the area to define ALIFE’s direction. Acting as an office and exhibition space, as well as selling some of the most high profile sneakers available, the store was helping to shape a lifestyle that many were eager to be a part of and one that is still relevant to this day.
Trying to create a unique selling point is something most brands struggle with, but this is something ALIFE achieved simply by surrounding the brand with things that they loved. There was a calling for the brand worldwide and following the opening of the now renowned Rivington Club sneaker boutique, the first of its kind, in New York in 2001, came the brands first expansion outside of the US when in 2005 they opened a Canadian flagship in Vancouver. Further spaces would follow in key cities that include LA in 2007 and Tokyo in 2008.
The ALIFE influence grew to encompass footwear with RIFT by ALIFENYC and a creative agency known as ALIFECREATIVE. ALIFE’s creative department was a huge draw to the brand and saw them provide creative direction for big name magazines, as well as collaborations with the likes of adidas, Canada Goose and most notably Levi’s in 2004, in which they created a temporary retail installation to celebrate the classic Levi’s 501 shape. Further collaborations would follow with ALIFE putting their unique stamp on products from ASICS, PUMA and Reebok to name a few.
As keeping with tradition of the brand, ALIFE looked to further develop their role within the community and from 2006 onwards began to sponsor events that would allow those who followed ALIFE to became further immersed in its culture. Known as the ‘ALIFE sessions’, the events have been taken to many different cities and received a great reception, showcasing the talents of some of the biggest names in music.
Today ALIFE remains a huge part of the sneaker and streetwear movement, a true representation of the lifestyle in their native New York. Hailed as one of the most directional and influential brands to have emerged from NY, they also play a huge role on the global scene. Recent times have seen high profile collaborations with the likes of PUMA, as well as a series of strong main line releases. We are definitely seeing a strong resurgence from ALIFE that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
You can shop our entire ALIFE range HERE.