Written By: Taylor Simmons
Photographed By: Curtis Kim
The Expert: Alex Randazzo
Title: Founder and Designer of L.O.R.D.S.
Clothes. Those of us who are not creators of garments see self-expression, beauty and chicness. They are blouses, dresses and suits. We all have our favorite brand or dress or tie. However, we rarely think about the process of making them. We don’t think about the stitch or the fabric or the buttons. The details are lost on the eyes of most of us. We see a sweatshirt. We don’t see a piece of art that is resilient and feels like butter to the touch. Alex Randazzo is an expert in these details. He has infused his clothing with quirky additions that many would miss. His passion for his new brand, Live or Die Syndicate (L.O.R.D.S) is apparent in his message behind the brand. His brand stands for a group of people who are living life to the fullest. That is exactly what he is doing. At age 25, all he sees is clothing. He walks outside and garments surround him—in buildings, in people, in nature. His ability to translate that inspiration into an unwavering brand with insight and power well beyond his years is something that will never be taken away from him.
Q: Can you explain your line for me?
Alex Randazzo When I first created the concept, I kind of had an idea of what it means metaphorically. Live or Die Syndicate was this idea where these mysterious people weren’t—were waiting to die. It’s a spin on follow your dreams. My graphic designer discovered that it was L.OR.D.S. And we went with that. The design kind of reflects what Lords might wear—a lot of black and white, and drapey.
Q: What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
AR: When I was 12 or 13, my mom started dating the owner of American Rag. He got me interested. He was taking me to all the vintage warehouses. I was in the store four or five times a week. I was looking at what brands were coming in and what brands were going out. He really gave me a lot of insight. I mean, I was always obsessed with clothes. I started drawing clothes at 13. It was elementary, but it was the start.
Q: Where do you see it going in the future?
AR: I know right now all I have is kind of sweat clothes. I want to delve into higher fashion stuff. I am doing this really cool long button down, a coat with this sublimation print inside, and then a really cool pair of sweat pants.
Q: How do you stay current with all the trends?
AR: I am always looking at my favorite designers—their fashion shows, their latest collections, their first collections, and what made them famous. I keep a pretty close eye on what’s going on. I don’t want to say that I copy things, but I think every introductory designer takes things that they like and pieces them together.
Q: What kind of clientele does your brand attract?
AR: Someone who likes to dress interestingly. Someone who appreciates the small details in their clothes … the stuff that most other people wouldn’t notice. Somebody who appreciates good fabric. For example, the sweatshirts I make I use a double knit, which is the same on both sides. It’s not the typical sweatshirt material. It’s really resilient. It has this drapey effect. It feels like butter on your skin.
Q: What is your favorite piece that you have designed?
AR: Definitely the sleeveless vest. It’s the first novelty item I have created. The other stuff I have created, you could say is pretty standard right now. The vest and the shorts are different.
Q: When you design a garment, what is the process like?
AR: I think what I want to design first. I nail down whether it’s going to be a coat or a T-shirt or a sweatshirt, and then I look at 100 different garments and pick all the details I want from those in my own garments. Then, I piece them together into my own jacket. I’ll add a few more things.
Q: What would you tell somebody who wants to pursue a career in fashion?
AR: If somebody has a real passion, then I would say don’t ever give up. Be patient through all the little nitty gritty stuff that they don’t teach you about in design school.
Q: Has LA been a big inspiration?
AR: I studied here and grew up here. Everything that I have learned has been a product of Los Angeles. All my friends dress really well. If I am watching a movie, then I look at the costumes first. The costumes in “Boardwalk Empire” are amazing. Have you ever seen “The Fifth Element?” Jean Paul Gaultier designed all of the costumes in that movie. That is my dream. Well, that is one of my dreams—extreme costumes like that for a movie.
Q: What are some spots in LA that you get inspiration from?
AR: Honestly, just walking around downtown. If you just walk five or six blocks, you could start at Skid Row, and then The Fashion District and then The Jewelry District. You just see so many different kinds of people—different kinds of outfits and clothes and stores. Just walking around there is inspiring. I am an incredibly visual person. All I see is clothing when I go out. That’s all my brain reads—clothes.