Photography: Will Foster
Alt Space: a nostalgic acid trip through ‘90s era angst, where art and fashion seamlessly collide. Founded by the team behind music and lifestyle zine Alt Citizen, the concept store, located at 41 Montrose Ave., is a treasure trove of style focused specifically on DIY merchandise. An answer to the “stagnant” fashion industry, Alt Space curator and stylist Phil Gomez said the store is rebellion against a world where creativity has been replaced with salability.
“Our process is simple: we want to offer limited, one-of-a-kind style,” he said. “Everything in the shop was hand-selected; we take it personal.” The racks are lined with garments from rising names in the fashion world—Eleen Halvorsen, Sext Pixels, Whatever 21—and trinkets ranging in price from $5 to $300. The space feels authentic, constantly streaming tunes on cassette with their residential greeter, a dog named Warhol, always on duty. It almost feels like hanging out in your best friend’s bedroom.
“I think we can all admit that our bedroom during our teens was a ‘no parents allowed’ safe haven, shared with some of the most personal moments from that period in our lives,” Gomez said. “Our teenage bedroom was a place for self discovery.”
In addition to Alt Space’s selection of fashion, half the shop is treated as a gallery space, currently exhibiting, “Girls at Night on the Internet,” curated by Art Baby Gallery Founder Grace Miceli. The show boasts a roster of feminist power players including Petra Collins, Molly Soda, Arvida Byström and Aleia Murawski.
“Curating an IRL show of Art Baby artists has always been a goal of mine, so I was excited to experiment with bringing work that mainly exists on the Internet to a physical audience,” Miceli said. “An exhibition like [this], which takes place at a female-run gallery with a female curator and showcases a group of diverse, feminist-identifying artists is so empowering, and I can only hope inspiring to a generation of younger people who want to succeed in the art world.”
Alt Space is currently gearing up for “Fashun Tweek,” their official take on New York Fashion Week. With five nights and five designers, the series will showcase futuristic streetwear and experimental designs, all centered on innovation and creativity, according to Gomez.
“We are transforming the space into a cosmic pop-up shopping experience,” he said. “Fashion is about being ahead of its time, [and] to make people wait to shop what is presented is just cruel to true trendsetters.”