An interview with the highly followed up-and-coming designer of SGC NYC.

The women’s streetwear brand SGC NY has been around for almost two years now, but over the last year, the brand has really taken off. Designer Jason Alfano brings us basics — think oversized tanks, tees and button downs — with a cool, downtown vibe. Aside from being an online platform to shop, his website has much more to offer — tons of interviews with the “cool kids,” photo journals, mix tapes and a kick ass blog. (It’s no surprise he has over 25,000 followers on Twitter!) With the anticipation of his new Fall Collection, we chatted with Jason about his brand’s roots and personal inspirations. — Jenna Igneri

SHK: TELL US A BIT ABOUT SGC! WHEN DID YOU START DESIGNING THE BRAND AND WHAT WERE YOUR EARLY INSPIRATIONS BEHIND IT?

JASON ALFANO: It will be two years in December. I can’t believe that much time has gone by. I think I just made myself sick. (I am also typing on an exercise bike after eating three bowls of pasta, could also be why…) Anyway, I was doing publishing work and I got laid off. I just wanted to do something that I had a little control over.

NOW, I KNOW YOU DIDN’T GO TO SCHOOL FOR FASHION DESIGN. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MAKE THE CAREER CHANGE AND PURSUE FASHION?

I didn’t go to school. I’m actually lucky that I can read. I just always wanted to do something more creative. It took me a while to change my mindset and think I had something to offer in what was more creative. I look at these 19-year-old kids taking over the world and at that age, I would have never made it.

Morrissey — “Shyness is nice and / Shyness can stop you / From doing all the things in life / You’d like to” … (not overly shy but it applies).

I’M IN LOVE WITH ALL OF THE MIX TAPES YOU’VE COLLABORATED WITH OTHERS TO CREATE! IF YOU HAD TO COME UP WITH A MIX TAPE THAT REPRESENTED SGC, WHAT WOULD THE FIRST FIVE SONGS BE?

1. My Dad is Dead — “Boundaries”… At one point in my adolescent life I listened to this song for two weeks straight for like, four hours a day.

2. The Lemonheads — “Into Your Arms”… It reminds me of my friend.

3. Dinosaur Jr — “Freak Scene”…We used it in our first video and it is a great straight ahead Rock and Roll song.

4. Swans — “Love Will Tear Us Apart” …Is there a radder cover in the entire world? 
Maybe, but it isn’t as good as this. (Authors note: I totally agree, 
this cover is gold.)

5. Hole — “Doll Parts”… Because I never listened to Hole till yesterday.

YOU’VE INTERVIEWED A HANDFUL OF REALLY INTERESTING “IT” PEOPLE ON YOUR SITE, INCLUDING MODELS, MUSICIANS, FELLOW FASHION DESIGNERS AND THE LIKE. IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO INTERVIEW ANYBODY, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?

Luckily, most of those people are just my friends and they were nice enough to do that for me. I would interview my grandfather because he is gone. This way, I could talk to him one more time.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE YOUR BIGGEST FASHION INSPIRATIONS? FAVORITE DESIGNERS?

We are opening a pop-up shop at the Blake Scotland store during Fashion Week, so any of the brands associated with that: Obesity and Speed, Chris Habana, Zana Bayne, Sex Trash NYC, Actual Pain, Nettie Kent, Dethkillers, In God We Trust and Pendu NYC.

WE’RE ALL ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE FALL COLLECTION (I KNOW I AM!). WHAT ARE THE MAIN INFLUENCES BEHIND THIS COLLECTION OVER PAST?

Thank you. I need to give you stuff — that is wwayy overdue. I think the difference between what we have now and our older pieces is details. I always wanted to add little details and touches to make each piece more unique, and now I actually have the ability to do that.

ANY EXCITING COLLABORATIONS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

I always wanted to make a leather jacket. But for me, out of nowhere, to sell a $500 jacket doesn’t make sense. So luckily, I think that it is going to come, just in a different type of venue.

OKAY, SO THE QUESTION WE’RE ALL DYING TO ASK — WHAT THE HELL DOES SGC STAND FOR?

Before I started this, I did some design work under SGC, but it didn’t really mean anything. The name sort of evolved and I wanted it to be something that a brand should embody, so now “SGC” stands for “Social Gathering Clothing.” I was just listening to music one day, and this bootleg radio broadcast by The Birthday Party came on called “A Social Gathering for the Celebration of the Anniversary of Someone’s Birth.” It clicked in my mind that starting my brand was like giving birth, and today’s social media-driven society allows individuals to follow and interact with brands like never before, which creates a social gathering of sorts.

SHOP SGC NY — SHOP THE POP-UP SHOP @ THE BLAKE SCOTLAND STORE 62 CLINTON STREET
 NEW YORK, NY 10002
 SEPTEMBER 5th-19th. Watch the vid.

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