Hi, I'm Alistair James Back, the clothing designer, store keeper and curator behind The Loft55 General Purpose Store. I want to personally thank you for taking the time to find me amongst the plethora of other clothing and lifestyle outlets you could have looked at today and welcome you to my website, ethos and clothing designs.
The concept of Loft55 was born in 2018 when I stepped back from a dance party I ran for near on a decade since 2008 in Brighton with my great friend and dj partner Affy Wajid.
My passion for music and djing were my main motivators in those early years but over time my values were shifting towards 'providing' a party rather than djing at one of my own making. Unfortunately, I'd lost sight of the community spirit involved from the party’s early years and that did not sit right with me towards the end.
As is often the way when you take time to sit and reflect, I experienced two other outcomes:
Working closely with my own mental health, I took time to become more mindful which lead to taking more pride in my appearance. This then leading to a renewed interest in dressing for oneself after over two decades of putting this to one side.
Secondly, my wife (Nic) and I travelled to Vietnam in 2017. With the countries historic division going back to1955 due to the war we were left with a profound respect for the people of this part of the world that have managed to put past divides behind them. I felt that we in our communities could look up to this due to our own modern day devisive challenges generated in the 'online' space.
My view being one of celebrating this under the Loft55 platform.
Loft55 has celebrated physical community through clothing design and a physical retail experience since 2018
What kind of clothing and designs can you expect from ME
I love vintage military themes, utility and workwear. Being a huge fan I've focused on developing my style creating and curating some bespoke one-off pieces. Fusing my LOFT55 design and original military/ workwear pieces. This lead me to design my Classics Collection. Taking a sustainable approach with clothing designed to create re-imaged and updated pieces using both utility and military influences. Always with a keen nod towards functionality and style for the wearer. Coveralls, boiler suits, army shirts and more! I literally can't get enough of this style!
I have the Streetwear Collection which is a super versatile adult unisex look also including for kids. This collection provides a great all-rounder. Funk it up, or keep it casual with this anything-goes collection.
My Minimalist Collection features core capsule colours with low impact branding. Organic cotton, vegan approved options, unisex appeal and sooooo incredibly soft you'll never want to take them off (just like my other creations from what I'm told)
Plus a selection of curated accessories, handmade made to order hats and a selection of unisex beanies.
New York, Brighton & Vietnam. What’s the story?
In 2008 I set up a series of parties catering for a musical approach that wasn't generally accepted or known about at that time in the city. The parties were very grassroots and outside of clubland for the most part. The sense of community was huge as people were forming friendships through these early events. The great thing was that at the time social media was only just taking off and people were relying more on physical interaction. This is why the parties worked so well and it formed my stance on physical community and how we act towards others being of such importance.
It’s about The Loft and it’s host David Mancuso. It’s a community and music thing via the medium of a party that appeals to me. I’m a big fan of David. Sadly he passed away and I would encourage anyone to find out more about his legacy. I’m also a big fan of the history of New York’s disco and hip-hop scenes from the 70s and 80s.
The people of Vietnam left a lasting impression on Nic and myself when we were in the country learning about it's past in 2017. This was achieved through documentaries and also in regards to modern-day Vietnam, our tour guides (Blue Sky and Henry) The magnitude of how the people of the country have moved on from such a terrible past was inspirational. It was also important to learn about the war by watching those documentaries. Being politically fluid gave me a non-biased starting point to enable me to look at the human aspect, not the political one, from the years 1955 onwards. We would do well to look at The Vietnamese and their ability to leave the past in the past more than we do. (myself included)
Giving back to the community
Through The Loft55 General Purpose Store I'm delighted to announce that after careful consideration I am teaming up with The Robin Hood Health Foundation in Brighton. They provide support through the creative arts for people with mental health challenges and need help to fund their good work.
The link between creativity and improved mental wellbeing is something I hold very close to my heart through experience. In light of this, I am launching a brand new range that comes under 'The Loft Life' title. With 20% of proceeds going to support their good work.
So if you like the sound of what you hear, go ahead and add something with some meaning into your wardrobe!
Pop in and say Hi! In my new permanent store @ Block Bar and Kitchen, 101 St James's Street, Kemptown. The LOFT55 General Purpose Store launched Friday 23rd April 2021. Running Fridays to Sundays plus Bank Holiday Mondays from 3pm. The store is in basement alongside weekend DJs, outside garden plus food and drink served daily. Drawing together all the things I love in one fab experiential package.
Stay blessed and be well