Barneys New York

‘Taste Over Trend, Luxe Over Lavish': Introducing Alex Kramer

Alex Kramer designs the type of clothes you want to (and can) wear every day. Spotlighting unexpected details in fit, fabric and function (think clean and sporty lines and knit sheaths with lambskin lining), her collection, co-designed with Brian Stanziale, gives basic closet staples a sophisticated twist, while still maintaining utmost comfort.

Before founding her namesake collection, Alex cut her teeth as a photo editor at The Source, head of visuals at and designer of a capsule collection for Carlos Miele. This multi-faceted design background no doubt helps inform her work today.

Below, we get the scoop on this multi-talented designer.


How did you get into fashion? 
I never got into fashion—fashion got into me. Being raised in New York, it is nearly impossible not to love fashion, as it is always all around you. This city is a place where creative expression through style is more than encouraged—it’s a way of life.

You studied literature at Georgetown University. Has this background shaped your collection?
The literary and visual are inextricably linked. I think my design eye has been shaped by practice and exposure—personal, academic and professional. Whether consciously or not, everything we read, observe or touch will ultimately form our aesthetic. I’m constantly on the quest for new, interesting and beautiful things—something extra to help make the moment complete. I think creating this collection was part of that quest.

How has living in both New York and Europe affected your design philosophy?
My understanding of luxury finishing and appreciation for fine fabrics most certainly developed in Europe, while my attention to fit and function comes from a very New York fastidiousness.

How did you meet co-designer Brian Stanziale?
Brian used to have a store in Soho called Sloane where he reconstructed vintage clothing. One day I randomly wandered in and asked to meet the designer. We immediately clicked and started working on small projects together. About a year and a half later, we decided to start the line. We work very well together because I polish his edge or vice versa.

Who inspires your designs?
Strong, urban women on the move.

Alex Kramer's desk

Describe the Alex Kramer girl.
She favors taste over trend and luxe over lavish.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Our aesthetic is architectural and defined. Our clothing is designed for the well-lived, but not the idle life. There is definitely a classic element and dedication to fine finishing, luxury fabrics and great fit.

Do you have any favorite pieces from the collection? 
I would have to say the tulip dress and the Newton pant are my favorites. What’s so great about the tulip dress is that the overall silhouette is clean and simple, but when accented with black leather, it becomes slightly edgy. But whether the end result is naughty or nice, it comes down to the Louboutin’s I style them with. The Newton pant is also a personal favorite. The stretch leather cummerbund turns this Ponte legging into a pant that can be worn day or night, dressed up or down. I like to wear it with an ivory silk rib tank, black blazer and super high pumps for a look reminiscent of the pant’s namesake photographer Helmut Newton. (No one portrayed women as sexy and strong as he did).


Shop the Alex Kramer collection here.