As of Thursday, September 29, 2022
For those determined to turn every negative into a positive, the pandemic opened up new opportunities previously undreamed of. That was certainly the case for Darren Sayphraraj, brand director of Alamae, a new line of “ethical, forward-looking fashion for the part-time athlete.”
Before that, Sayphraraj was in another demanding industry, a restaurateur in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I’d spent the last 10 years cooking at fine-dining restaurants in New York and L.A. with some minor success and was slated to open another, larger project,” Sayphraraj said. “I had sold my first restaurant with plans to open the next one, then out of sheer luck the pandemic happened.”
The “luck” brought by COVID sent Sayphraraj on the path strewn by his mother’s footsteps. “My mother, May—hence “a la May”—has been in the design and manufacturing business for 25 years. Her company specializes in intimates and sleepwear, has its own in-house brands, and has also done private label for Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters. I’d never thought I would work in fashion but ultimately felt like I needed to do something after my own plans got changed. As an artist you are always looking for a purpose, and I felt like honoring my mother’s life work was the motivation I needed.”
Alamae offers activewear, loungewear and swimwear based on simple solids. Prices range from $15 to $78 and can be purchased at alamae.com.
“Using the knowledge passed down from my mother and the years of experience we have with design, as well as the relationships with factories,” said Sayphraraj, “we can now create activewear that is equally committed to aesthetics, quality and fair production practices. This would all not be possible without the tutelage of my mother, who started carrying duffle bags to trade shows, and here we are now. I am the product of that blood, sweat and tears.”
Photos courtesy of Alamae.