LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Alden Jackson of Cool and Casual Studios•
Posted on February 02 2022
I am so excited to introduce Alden of Cool and Casual Studios. I worked with Alden many many moons ago at Urban Outfitters and we've stayed connected over the years. Ever since I met him, he has been one of the best dressed people I know, always dialed. He has such vision and identity and was always really aspirational in using vintage clothing to elevate and modernize his looks.
MAGGIE: Hi Alden! Give us an overview of Cool and Casual Studios and what you offer.
ALDEN: Cool and Casual Studios is a vintage focused lifestyle shop. Our main proposition is wardrobe staples with an emphasis on natural fibers. We also carry furniture and home goods. Cool and Casual Studios is in a constant conversation with the zeitgeist, influencing culture, selling clothing to designers, and other influential creatives.
M: When did you start out and why did you decide to start the business?
I had started wearing vintage in high school and at the same time gained access to a computer and internet at home for the first time, so I was looking at a Marc Jacobs show and then clamoring for a Buffalo check jacket, or a Raf Simons show and trying to track down a duffle coat. I went to school for fashion merchandising and was working retail. Due to my size and economic conditions, I worked at a lot of high volume, fast fashion businesses, and also couldn’t afford to work unpaid internships. I eventually realized retail is not fashion, and after trying to advance by working at several different establishments I had had enough. I began collecting garments and started selling on etsy as a hobby, it gave me an outlet for my creativity.
M: What is your process for finding and selecting the vintage pieces and products you offer?
A: I mostly select product based on fiber, and function. I love finding pieces that are intriguing, but functional and just add a bit of joy to the wearer's life. We want to add to their life, not complicate it. Sometimes, fashion that is on a quest to grab wallets as often as possible, tend to forget about the client. As I’ve been in business for over a decade, my methods of sourcing are constantly evolving. I naturally began in thrift stores, and I occasionally would purchase things on online marketplaces as well. I have a lot more competition than when I first started so thrift stores are less part of the equation these days. I have developed vendor relationships, whether at flea markets or warehouses across town. I also still purchase product online if it’s something I know sells well and is part of our vocabulary. We’ve began selling at events on the East Coast and source there as well. Lately we’ve been buying in bulk to make sure all of our clients have access to the garments they want. In the past I did not care for this method but I have developed my buying patterns in a way that it's still unique product that not everyone has access to.
M: If you had to choose one classic, timeless outfit that would never go out of style, what would you be wearing?
A: I'm gonna cheat here and say anything monotone. I love a denim on denim moment. There's so much you can do with a tee and jeans if it fits properly. So monotone base with maybe an Avant Garde jacket, not unlike the linen Monitaly Batman coat I purchased from Burke.
M: Any future plans or goals for the business that you want to share?
A: We definitely want a store in Los Angeles, and maybe New York also. We also want to begin production on key pieces that can’t be sourced all the time.
M: How can customers support you outside of your curated pieces at Burke?