The ever increasing pace of the fast fashion cycle has led to a distinct departure from craft in the pursuit of maximizing profits over the past decade, but some are looking to change that. Max Alexander, the founder of BRYDER, is a one man operation dedicating himself to crafting the finest pieces by hand.
BRYDER's Proprietary Techniques Bring Craft Back to Fashion
We spoke to the up-and-coming designer about his start
A brief look through his catalog makes it obvious how much care Alexander puts into his pieces, but what instantly jumps out is the square weave that can be found on many of BRYDER's works—including everything from pants to vests. The weave is made from several cotton straps aligned in a checkered weave, and is a key design motif throughout Alexander's work. "I was looking at brutalist architecture, and especially buildings that hadn't been completed yet. I was trying to work out how to get that into a fabric context."
The inception for the brand came while Alexander was in university in Brighton. He had studied furniture and 3D design in the years prior, but ultimately switched lanes to fashion design based on an enduring passion for the field. During his studies, Alexander completed a six month placement with Craig Green, whose utilitarian influence can be seen in BRYDER's own work. "Being in that space and seeing an entire studio dedicated to his ideas and his creativity, that was massively inspirational." Feeling like he had built a strong identity while attending university, Alexander knew always knew he would launch a brand himself. Just months after graduating, his vision came to fruition.
The first release was in October of 2020, and consisted of several garments utilizing the now-signature strap weave. One of the most interesting things to note is the customization allowed by the strap weave garments due to the nature of the textiles construction. Pockets and other additions can be strapped through the weave, allowing for near infinite combinations for placement. Alexander has plans to expand on this idea, telling us "it's this backpack that you can strap onto the back of the vest, but you could take it off and it becomes sort of a tote."
When asked why his prices are so high, he reminds people that everything using the strap weave is handmade by Alexander himself. "Every piece takes a long time to make. For example, a jacket could easily take 15 to 16 hours." If we're being honest, the prices are extremely reasonable given the effort put into the garments.
Alexander also heavily embraces collaboration, having worked with small brands like Rough Cut Official, another independently owned brand. "That's the fun of it, being at this stage. I can collaborate with other small brands really easily."
The latest collection is inspired by exoskeletons, in both natural and built environments. Color choices like the light blue are drawn from x-ray imagery of scorpions, while the structural elements are influenced by scaffolding. T-shirts feature prints of the scorpion x-ray that brought about the color choices, tying together the whole collection.