5 things you didnt know about Teddy Santis
AIMÉ LEON DORE is one of the most original streetwear brands over the past few seasons. Creating elevated urban essentials, and betting on collabs with huge brands like New Balance and Porsche, the brand successfully synthesizes NYC nostalgia and contemporary sensibility.
Led by founder Teddy Santis, Aimé Leon Dore has their flagship store located on Mulberry Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. ALD's exploration of sophisticated streetwear reaches a level of luxury not commonly seen from independent design outfitters.
In 2014, the brand had opened a temporary pop-up in New York, which ended up being rather permanent, now filled with ’90s hip-hop refs and candles en masse, a mix of industry fixtures and vintage furniture.
"Nobody wants to wear anything today unless they believe in what it represents.", said Santis for END.
🏁 He has a serious relationship with Porsche.
Porsche has been woven into the DNA of Aimé Leon Dore since day one. In February 2020, ALD released the first-of-its-kind ALD 964, a one-of-one custom 1990 Porsche 964 911 Carrera 4 restored with Porsche's blessing and support — the first time they've lent their official blessing to a vintage 911 restoration.
The centerpiece of the vehicle restoration is a fully custom interior, featuring Schott sunflower leather and Loro Piana houndstooth, the same materials highlighted in Aimé Leon Dore’s fall/winter 2020 collection. Rich top-grain leather wraps the dashboard, steering wheel and door panels, while the reverse suede side of the leather covers the headliner and sunroof.
✈ "Born in Greece, settled in Queens"
Fashion designer Teddy Santis used to play basketball, create graffiti, and spin house and hip-hop records on the streets of Queens. Born and raised in a Greek home and having worked at his parents Diner, Santis embraced his European heritage while immersing himself in '90s New York hip-hop culture.
💕 The inspiration behind ALD's name is all about love.
After being denied a trademark for just Aimé (an amalgamation of the French word for love), Santis added Leon, his father’s nickname, and the Dore, the final syllable of his given name Theodore to the brand, creating the final version that the world knows today.
🎓 He had no fashion background or university degree.
Despite having no formal fashion or design training, Teddy quickly learned how to capture the '90s hip-hop aesthetic in a refined, nuanced way. He initially entered the design field by opening an optical store in Manhattan with a childhood friend in 2010, while continuing to work at his parents’ coffee shop on the Upper East Side.
🏃🏾♂️ Reinventing New Balance sneakers with their contemporary streetwear zeal.
Teddy's ALD has collaborated with New Balance on three major projects spanning three seasons: spring/summer 2019, fall/winter 2020, and spring/summer 2020. Each project has seen ALD deliver its unique take on New Balance's heritage and design in ways which pay homage to life in New York. The brand delivered a project featuring the 827 in March 2020, the first time the shoe had been revived following its launch over 20 years ago.
THE THING IS: Teddy's authentic vision has a sophisticated edge and it seems like ALD is most likely to be the brand that comes to define the next chapter of menswear.
In other news, the sweetest new Vans Vault x Maha collab has just dropped.