STREETWEAR : ALIFE : A WAY OF LIFE
Alife the NYC OG streetwear staple and one of THE greatest sneaker stores [Alife Rivington Club] really sends out the message about streetwear being a way of life and a reflection of its surroundings. We want to discuss the brand and what it stands for and how it fits in to the landscape with it being 20 years old this year. Alife is the operation behind Alife Rivington Club, or A.R.C., widely recognized by consumers, press and industry as the world’s premiere sneaker boutique. Alife has collaborated with Nike, Reebok, Adidas, New Balance, Saucony, Timberland, Asics, Lacoste, Mitchell&Ness, Dickies, Kangol and more. Artists curated by Alife include Ryan McGinness, Steve Powers, Todd James, RoStarr, Shepard Fairy, Craig Costello, Eric Haze, Kai Regan and Clayton Patterson.
Alife packs a pretty big punch and has stood the test of time and they have had some serious sessions in the backyard of their store. Some of the biggest names in hip hop have performed to an intimate audience ; Ghost Face, Drake, Desiigner, Just Blaze, Yo Gotti, Mobb Deep.Bun B , Cypress Hill, ASAP Ferg, the list goes on.
We will never forget our first visit to the ARC wayyyyy back in 2003. Buzz for entry, rich dark wood shop fit similair to something you would see on Saville Row but in the LES NYC.
Just the buzz for entry starts the experience of making you feel special to be inside. At the time they were selling quickstrike Nike and some limited Adi and a fair bit of AJ1 vintage / deadstock pieces. 2003 there were nowhere near as many limited or hype releases as there is now [like 5-10 per week]. The market has grown and changed so much. Its now a fully blown beast with a huge secondary market and all people want to buy is a hyped release.
2019 marks the 20 year anniversary for this streetwear and sneaker household name so it only felt right to pay homage to these OGs. I believe the business has had its ups and downs, as all businesses do and may have changed hands but we still believe its independently owned.
The way it has operated and cemented its way in the history of streetwear is incredible, it really lives and breathes its interests and inspirations; art, music, skateboarding, riding and generally reflecting the NYC surroundings. The Alife sessions are the most recent iconic proof of this and not many other brands / stores have a long list of epic yard sessions and association to music culture.
But streetwear has evolved now to have its own varied tiers of brands within it, that now incorporates mass market brands right the way up to luxury fashion iterations. The category is developed and no longer the tiny niche it once was which is amazing to see. It’s no longer simply about graphic t’s. So Alife fits in on a few fronts today and the sneaker store keeps it on point with the latest footwear releases that they continue to keep partnering with the big brands on co-lab product to help celebrate the return of old classics or new latest silhouettes.
Congrats to ALIFE and 20 years of their legacy so far. In there own fine words…
THE SOURCE OF ART IS IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE