Out of a small boutique on the lower eastside in New York City, Osore Oyagha and Eloise Simonet run a unique menswear brand. With hand picked fabrics and hand sewn garments with high attention to detail, the massive appeal of Ale Et Ange reaches far beyond Rivington St. Started in 2006, the rather small company has been growing rapidly recently. We were able to get a hold of Osore and Eloise despite their busy schedules, and have them answer a few questions:
Cocaine Pretti: Where are both of you from?
Osore Oyagha: I was born in West London; both my parents are Nigerian.
Eloise Simonet: I was born in Miami. My mom is French; my dad is Jamaican. I was brought up in Jamaica and New York.
CP: When did both of you start designing? Did you start together or was this something you both did aside then together?
Osore: I started in secondary school, designing school uniforms for myself and a few other kids.
Eloise: I learned to sew at 11, working on my designs shortly after. We were both working on different design projects prior to meeting.
CP: The name of the company is both of your middle names. How did you choose to go with that? Why not your last names?
Ale Et Ange: We wanted a name that represented us both. Ale Et Ange had a nice ring to it; last names didn't look or sound as nice when put together.
CP: How did you two meet?
Ale Et Ange: We seen each other in and around the neighborhood, but were formally introduced by a friend a few years ago.
CP: Where is your store located?
Ale Et Ange: We have been operating a pop-up-shop for 2 years at 40 Rivington Street in New York's lower east side. Our web-store, which will soon be launched, is aleetange.com.
CP: How would you describe the style of your clothes? What type of person are you designing for?
Ale Et Ange: The style is dressy casual, clean, minimal -with a lot of emphasis on detail, hidden or immediately apparent, and the cut and fabrics. Inspiration is drawn mainly from nostalgia and imagination. Our designs are basically clothes we want to be wearing. There is no specific archetype, just anyone who likes the clothes. We like to say we design for anyone, not everyone.
CP: Do you guys have a signature piece? If so, what is it?
Ale Et Ange: We have a few signature pieces. The suit, our standard one-pocket-button-up shirt, the blazer, the t-shirts, the ties, the hats... everything.
CP: What’s the relationship between you’re company and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)? How did that come about?
Ale Et Ange: It's a hard relationship to explain... but he loves the clothes and has been wearing primarily Ale et Ange for the past year and a half. We were introduced by a friend in common.
CP: What would you say his (Yasiin) favorite piece is?
Ale Et Ange: The suit, the ties, the hats, the standard one-pocket-button-up shirt, the t-shirts, the trousers, the blankets. He loves it all.
CP: Have you worked with any other artists or celebrities besides Yasiin?
Ale Et Ange: Indirectly, yes... Pusha T owns a number of our hats. A few others own pieces here and there.
CP: Most of the pictures on your Tumblr are accompanied by Hip Hop lyrics. How big of an influence is Hip Hop on your company?
Ale Et Ange: It is a huge influence on us, but directly has very little to do with our design aesthetic or the company as a whole.
CP: If you had to compare the style of your company to any rapper or rap group outside of Yasiin, who would it be?
Ale Et Ange: Nobody in particular really. Yasiin is drawn to our clothes, but it is unintentional. With that said, there isn't a rapper we could not picture in the clothes.
CP: What are some of your other inspirations?
Ale Et Ange: Mainly imagination, music, life, everything and nothing at the same time...if that makes any sense.
CP: What’s next for you guys?
Ale Et Ange: Fall 2012
Visit the website at aleetange.com .
All Images Copyrighted By Ale Et Ange