I’m not going to give you a fluffy recycled press blurb piece on the recently returned ALIFE. I legitimately thought the New York brand was done and dusted, if I’m being honest. I remember when I first started at Urban Industry we used to absolutely cane through the ALIFE logo t-shirts. As I was relatively new to the whole world of streetwear at that point, I found it a bit odd that a brand could keep churning out the same logo print over and over again. Still, seeing as they were retailing at just under forty quid, I just kept my opinions to myself and kept counting that lazy logo money.
Fast forward a year or so and all UK retailers were issued with the information that ALIFE were taking things in-house and would no longer be stocking their wares in stores. This came as a bit of a shock to us as ALIFE always earned well and it seemed a bit backwards for the brand to take it back under their Rivington Street roof in NYC in an attempt to grow the brand. It couldn’t have been an issue of quality control as they pretty much got away with recycling their graphic print output for seasons on end. It all reeked a bit of a brand wanting to have its cake and eat it – build the presence and the dollars through the work of other stores and distributors but maintain that level of exclusivity that the likes of Supreme still have. Karma is a bitch however, and shortly afterwards the store went dark and ALIFE as we know it vanished off the radar.
Now for Fall 2013 we’ve seen the brand resurface, but not necessarily under the best of omens. It’s a bit depressing to see the same logos recycled again, but maybe that’s just me going from wide-eyed optimist to jaded hack in the space of time they’ve been away. There are glimmers of hope with Jadakiss and Pretty Puke photo print tees. What they release going forward remains to be seen; hopefully it will expand beyond basic printed t-shirts. I’m not holding my breath for this though.