It’s been a fair while since we last had a proper brand feature here at FatKidOnFire. Our makeitgood x FKOF series has started to properly take off, but today we get to go back to basics and get the lowdown on another brand.
The next brand to feature here at FKOF are probably one of the biggest we’ve had the chance to talk to. They started in the ’60s in Northern Italy and have now got offices in LA and Tokyo, producing both apparel and protective clothing for most types of engine-driven disciplines you can think of. We are also truly honoured to have the President of the company answering our questions…
[Alpinestars bmx rider Ryan Guettler]
If you ride motorcross, bmx, moto GP, race cars or generally enjoy doing things that require technical safety gear chances are that you’ll have heard of Alpinestars. Having taken the protective gear industry by storm and arguably being one of the leaders in this area of sport, Alpinestars turned their attention to apparel. Their new S/S 11 line sees them improve their already stellar product range so we sat down with Alpinestars President Gabriele Mazzarolo to find out more…
Who or what is Alpinestars? Alpinestars is a 48-year-old motorsports brand, with a rich history of outfitting and protecting world class athletes as well as motorsports enthusiasts worldwide. Over the years we have branched into many other disciplines and lifestyle segments. While the core of Alpinestars is still fuelled by our passion for motorsports, that passion has segued into action sports, lifestyle, fashion, music, art and design.
Your apparel designs are stylish, strong and striking – but do they convey a specific brand image or is it flexible? What caused the company to start producing clothing? What inspired the S/S 11 collection? Our apparel is an extension of our design ethos and commitment to quality. That said, the apparel designs have to be fluid and dynamic to adapt to trends from season to season. Given our history and legacy in motorsports, there will definitely always be some motorsports influence in the apparel line, be it in t-shirt graphics or in a cut/sew piece. It might be bold or it might be subtle, but motorsports, and more specifically motorcycle racing provide an endless source of inspiration. However, the influences and subject matter vary from season to season and we will always look to a variety of sources. S/S 11… Some cues that you might see…
We have a new line of very technical boardshorts that was directly influenced by our technical apparel. They were also developed with a lot of input from our surf team, so they definitely had some influence. As for graphic influence, we’re always inspired by the movement and speed of sport, other than that, natural environments… South America, urban landscapes, Los Angeles culture, vintage motocross flyers, etc… just to name a few.
What does or will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack (if you consider your collections to be streetwear)? I don’t think we’d want to put a label on our apparel such as “streetwear,” but some of the aesthetics definitely translate.
We’ve tried to diversify the line as to avoid it being pigeon-holed into a certain category, but we still want to keep it pretty accessible. The one thing that can definitely distinguish us from other brands is our legitimate motorsports heritage.
It’s pretty “hot” right now to reference motorcycle racing or put a motorcycle graphic on a tee, but this is something that we’ve been a part of and have been passion about for nearly 5 decades, so we’d like to think that it sets us apart.
Who or what influences you in your work? Our athletes influence us. More specifically they inspire us.
Alpinestars’ S/S 11 collection highlights include wardrobe staples like the worn-in ‘Deep Six Crew’ Sweater with its vintage engine print and subtle grease worked edges available in steal blue or rust and the ‘Remixx Shirt’ which offers a new season shift on everyone’s favourite plaid, with an all over oil stain effect across 4 colours.
The brand stays true to it’s roots with the Alpinestars Vintage label featuring across chino smart walkshorts and key accessories pieces like the ‘Supply Trucker Cap’, with plenty of subtle detailing throughout the line including worn steel buttons and chevron striped linings.
What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear scene at the moment? Streetwear has drawn and will always draw inspiration from an abundance of sources, so it is dynamic and really kind of a vague “genre” if you think about it.
There are certainly geographic and social contexts that dictate fashion and style, but in today’s times of technology, people can and should be drawing inspiration from all over the world. The UK streetwear scene (as it should be) doesn’t seem to be far off from the rest of the world… UK, US, Japan, Australia… The “Streetwear scene” should include everything from graphic tees to ratty camo to luxury brands and it shouldn’t be constrained to one defined style or “scene.”
So to answer your question, it appears that the UK streetwear scene is thriving and doing a good job of drawing inspiration from all the right places.
Where do you see you and Alpinestars being in 5 years time? Overall, Alpinestars will be stronger. The apparel brands as well as our technical range and our presence in the motorsports segment will be stronger than ever, we will continue to learn and draw inspiration from our athletes and push the envelope of technology and design.
Where can people expect to catch your work, any stockists to watch? You can purchase our all of our products from our website, keep up to date with Alpinestars through our Front Line and check our new Apex Initiative venture.
Top 5 favourite albums? No music is sweeter to our ears than the melody of a high revving race engine at full crank. The sound of internal combustion is the soundtrack to our lives.
[Mountainbiker Mike Montgomery dropping a backflip heelclicker at Woodward West]
Shoutouts All of our athletes worldwide and of course anyone that desires to wave the Alpinestars flag or bear the Alpinestars logo. Thank You.
Sante Mazzarolo and now his son Gabriele have pretty much got the protective gear side of motor (bike and car) racing along with all the other sports they’re involved with. It’s fantastic to see such a huge company to take a step back and to take their experiences and transfer it to apparel. I’ve got a few Alpinestars pieces myself and the quality and design are unsurprisingly second to none. We’re extremely proud to have had Gabriele talking to us and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading what he’s had to say. If you’d like to find out more about Alpinestars, hit their website, Twitter or Facebook.
If you have any thoughts on what Gabriele has had to say, or thoughts on anything else you’ve read let us know either via the comments section below or through one of the other forms of contact (email, Twitter and Facebook).