For many, the heyday of New York City began in the 1970’s and ran until just around 1989. This was the period of glamor, glitz, nightcaps, and nightclubs. When disco was still fresh and whatever sin you wanted to indulge was at your fingers. The world was one’s oyster and the oysters were, of course, Rockefeller.
Now, that vision of New York is a thing of the past. While the world still turns on NYC’s axis, the gravitational pull doesn’t seem as strong. The disillusionment of Gen X gave way to the wokeness of Gen Z and all that was golden about New York seems a bit tarnished.
That is, of course, unless you’re Brandon Snower, the founder and imagination behind Le Alfré, the newest menswear brand on our radar. Snower, a former Wall Street investment banker and 25-year-old wunderkind in branding, saw the potential of bringing that old-school magic and retrofitting it for the 21st Century.
Snower’s path to creating his company is a culmination of talent, business acumen, natural style, and grit. While looking for a style of Oxford he had in mind (similar to a banker’s shirt, with a contrast collar), he realized how alienating traditional menswear was for him. It wasn’t inclusive. It wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t fun. Snower saw an opportunity and began to build a brand that is at once very much a traditional menswear brand, but at the same time a tongue-in-cheek disruptor within the market.
Le Alfré was born in Snower’s small New York apartment and has since been recognized as a serious contender for menswear enthusiasts, getting accolades from GQ, Cool Material, Gear Patrol, and others. In five months’ time, this is saying a lot. And it goes back to Snower’s grit. He’s a solo entrepreneur, wearing multiple hats, including web fashion designer, brand marketer, CFO, CEO, COO, UX/UI designer, customer service, and everything in between.
Snower’s efforts would eventually produce Le Original Collection, the first line from Le Alfré. Coming in four colors — pastel pink, hunter green, gray, and light blue — and made from premium cotton in Portugal’s oldest mill and working with the country’s oldest shirtmaker, this shirt is straight out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. What sets Le Alfré’s first collection apart is the considered approach to the modern gentleman, taking a nod at classic menswear while glancing towards a more playful man.
“I took the idea of heritage mens brands and put it on its head,” explained Snower in our interview. “Moving to New York, I saw how newer brands in other clothing categories like streetwear do things differently than classic menswear and wanted to do that. I want to do collabs. I want to do things other brands in my space aren’t doing. I want to make Le Alfré something you look forward to seeing what they’ll do next, not something you grab off the rack at a department store when you need a dress shirt.”
And, we think, Le Alfré is at that tipping point. What we’re seeing is a brand that’s not anchored down to the classic rules of style, but is reinventing them as much as he remains inspired by them. With inspiration from Wall Street to trust fund kids in loafers, from James Bond to Michael Jordan, Snower is nimble in how he approaches the future for the company without being hindered by preconceptions of prep and old school style. He’s fine if you pair his ‘Le Original’ Contrast Oxford Shirts with shorts and a baseball cap or keep it tucked in with loafers on a workday. Le Alfré is about encouraging personal style — Snower just wants you to do it in the best goddamn Oxford you’ve ever worn in your life.
With releases steadily dropping throughout the Fall and Winter, we’re here to see how Le Alfré incorporates this laissez-faire approach to traditional menswear and on its way to becoming a lifestyle brand. From art to hats, bags to martini glasses, we’re stocking up our bar cart and breaking out our dad’s old Datejust in anticipation of what’s next for the brand.
For more information, visit LeAlfre.com.