Teddy Santis
Founder of Aimé Leon Dore
Aimé Leon Dore

What was your biggest challenge in 2017? What's the biggest challenge you've faced since starting your brand?

Making sure that I’m staying true to myself, to what I want for ALD and just keeping it all consistent. This, paired up with a very specific market like ours, in any industry, will always be a challenge if you want to run in your own lane.

The fashion industry has experienced a lot of ups and downs in recent years. What do you think about the current state of the industry and what do you see as the biggest issues facing the industry today? Specifically, what are your thoughts on the state of streetwear?

I think there is massive opportunity for those who know what is real and authentic as opposed to others who are just a front for something that has no substance. I also believe a lot of this fake cool guy shit is about to explode in everyone’s face. The loyal consumer that matters today is too smart and calculated to continue being fooled with product that doesn’t represent anything. There is simply too much irrelevant product on the market right now and it’s unfortunately diluting the industry as a whole. I find this as a good and bad thing. Good because ALD is in a great position with consumers who believe in what we do which also gives us the opportunity to continue growing; and bad because as a consumer, I’m not nearly as excited, interested or inspired by what I see. This might be the definitive driving force behind how we approach what we do and why.

How does being from New York shape your drive/dedication? Does Aimé Leon Dore plan on staying true to its New York roots in the future or does ALD plan on telling a new story anytime soon?

You learn to work very hard in New York, and from a very young age. If you’re not going 150mph on a day to day, you get left behind quickly—no matter what you’re doing... It’s basically eat or be eaten which I think constantly keeps you on your toes. As for telling a new story, we’ll always be a New York brand and that story will never change. Building a strong foundation where I’m from has always been a priority. It’s all about how we translate that ethos into everything we do.

What has been your highlight of 2017? What's been Aimé Leon Dore's highlight of 2017?

My daughter was born in July and it’s been the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. She’s brought me so much love and joy that I never knew existed, and it shifts your perspective on a lot. As for ALD, it’s the product. Simply put, we are making really great product. This along with watching us grow has been amazing to witness and be a part of.

What direction do you see Aimé Leon Dore going in the next 5-10 years?

The direction will never change. The goal is to stay true and continue doing what we do.

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