As part of our 60th Anniversary celebration, we’re looking to those who wear Alpha Industries with pride, ensuring we’re not just part of their wardrobe, but part of their identity. These people are our Everyday Heroes and we’re excited to share their stories and impact on the brand. Today we spotlight Angelyn Fernandez, Alpha Industries’ Chief Merchant. With decades of experience in the fashion industry, Angelyn has helped Alpha turn the corner from purely a military surplus manufacturer to a fashion brand.
How familiar were you with military outerwear when you first started designing for Alpha?
Angelyn Fernandez- “I thought I was familiar as going to Army/Navy surplus stores was always a part of the inspiration process for design. Now working at Alpha, I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of the utilitarian purposes and modifications found in military garments.”
How much do you think OG military outerwear shapes the fashion styles of today?
Angelyn Fernandez- “Military influence drives most of the silhouettes we see in men’s outerwear today. Details found in today’s field coats, parkas, bombers and layering systems were all invented by the military.”
Can you tell us about some of the special features that have been carried through from the military pieces to today’s designs?
Angelyn Fernandez- “There are many aspects of military design used today- for example, pockets. Most sizes and shapes of pockets were developed to carry specific equipment. The modern cargo pocket was introduced on parachute pants during the Korean War, to secure maps.”
What is the process for coming up with new collections? How do you infuse the heritage of Alpha into each one?
Angelyn Fernandez- “We start each process by looking at trends today and how they relate back to our heritage. If there is a large influence of a certain style from a specific region, we do research in our archives to find period pieces which help us develop up-to-date versions. We are always looking into our past inspire the current creations.”
Why do you think collabs are such a big part of today’s fashion scene, and what do you look for in a collaboration partner?
Angelyn Fernandez- “Collaborations are important for all companies to learn, grow, and reach new customers. Our collaborators are chosen to drive energy and share new ideas. We look for partners who offer something unique to the market and help us evolve in our brand.”