Zachary Alexander’s interest in fashion design started at the age of 13, while watching designers create outfits in a short amount of time on the first season of “Project Runway.”
“After those few episodes I then started to begin teaching myself to sew and after years of trying to perfect my craft, I then began to start designing and finding my niche at the age of 16,” he said.
Fast forward a few years and Alexander, a modern dancer and former costume designer, is getting his name and his designs out there by continuously creating new outfits and looking to get involved with some flea markets in Queens. After reaching out, he got a response from one of the organizers of LIC Flea. He met with the organizer, showed his work and began selling in the middle of July 2013.
“I was nothing but ecstatic, nervous and glad that someone had been interested in my clothing and wanted to meet with me,” Alexander said. “After that moment, I had found my home for selling my work and getting Zachary Alexander out to the public.”
The Forest Hills designer said that growing up in a suburban neighborhood in such an urban hub as New York City was inspiring for his designs. Walking through the neighborhood’s gardens, Alexander passed by many of the Tudor and Gregorian-style homes and came up with stories about the day-to-day life of a girl living in one of those houses. This would kick off his design process.
Once that creative process gets going, Alexander settles on a few themes he likes to focus on, which are nature, femininity and Americana. He said the experience of growing up New York leads him to think about what it is like to grow up in a rural place, like the mountains of New England or the Great Plains.
“Nature is a very organic, ever changing aspect of the world and I feel because it is so different and can be very surprising at times; that is very inspiring to me,” he said. “Also as a man, I have a strong connection to feminine shapes and drawn to very classic lines. I’m not too much of a fan of restriction and conformity and I feel that should be the same for the human body. I am also formally trained as a contemporary modern dancer and I have always loved seeing the body move and the flow of the garment, so that also plays into most of my designs.”
Alexander and his designs will return to LIC Flea in April 2014, though he plans to reach out to Brooklyn and Manhattan flea markets as well. He also wants to work with some textile designers in the late fall so he can create his own fabrics from images of flowers and trees.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me but I stay optimistic and hope for the best,” he said.