Alexis Frey is a woman who knows quite a bit about menswear. The daughter of a self-made men’s clothing manufacturer, she grew up in New York City, frequently visiting her father’s office in the Empire State Building. “Take Your Child To Work Day was my favorite,” she says of her time spent banging on typewriters and eating BLTs from the neighborhood diner. From a very young age, she had her father’s rare mix of fashion sense and entrepreneurship coursing through her veins, and his lessons in life and trade were all around her. And so, she was uniquely positioned to take on the sadly neglected task of making modern men look good.
But before Alexis took to the family business, she tried her hand at many things, competitive figure skating and modern dance among them. She loved art and theater. As an undergrad at Vassar College, she majored in African studies and delved into Eastern religions, among other intellectual pursuits. And life/after/denim’s globalist outlook is due in no small part to her endless curiosity about world cultures.
After graduation, Alexis thought of working in fashion back in New York, but fate drew her to Hong Kong, where her father had built a manufacturing business—to this day, a strategic partner to life/after/denim. There, she found her true grind, schlepping bags of samples around the strange streets of a foreign city and working herself to the bone in every aspect of fashion and product development: tech design, pattern making, fabric development, wet processing, and production.
Her work abroad eventually took her to Southern China, where she spent three months working in the factories, building relationships, and learning. Always learning. “[That trip] sealed the deal for me,” she says. “I became truly committed to making beautiful clothes.”
Back in the States, a job in denim development drew her to Newport Beach, California—ironic considering she would go on to conceive an entire company based on the absence of this ubiquitous American fabric. You have to know the rules to break them.
In 2009, now knowing a thing or two about how to make clothes, Alexis began life/after/denim. Since then, she has seamlessly navigated the duties of both creative director and fashion entrepreneur. “I owe a debt of gratitude to the people in my father's business for schooling me in the real world,” she says. “And my wonderful team for their hard work, dedication, and talent.
For Alexis, life/after/denim has been the most exciting chapter of a personal adventure, filled with challenge and triumph. Much like the clothing itself, she expects LAD to last for years to come.