The designer uses handcrafting elements to connect wearers through physical touch.
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Through his martial arts-inspired apparel brand Tactile Knowledge, Designer Alex Britto aims to leverage physical touch to inspire deeper human connection and confidence. We caught up with Britto to talk his brand, designs and how he nourishes himself when feeling depleted creatively.
District Fray: How would you describe your brand?
Britto: Tactile Knowledge tells the story of connectivity through physical touch. Sampling from both martial arts and workwear, Tactile Knowledge fuses classic silhouettes meant to withstand the rugged demands of Brazilian jiu jitsu and handcraft. The brand encourages interaction with the present moment and one’s immediate surroundings in an increasingly disconnected, virtual world.
What do you hope to inspire for someone wearing your designs?
I hope to inspire the wearer to engage with their surroundings and connect to this moment by working with their hands. This could be as simple as cleaning a space or doing a small DIY project. I want to encourage tactile interaction to highlight the well-being and satisfaction that comes from it. I see the clothes as a uniform. When you put them on, I want you to feel the confidence of a martial artist or craftsman and be inspired to take action.
You recently received your bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Virginia Commonwealth University. What’s next?
I have plans in motion surrounding Tactile Knowledge, and outside of that I’m looking to get a job as a footwear or apparel designer. I also have aspirations to show some of my collage work on canvas that I’ve done over the past few years.
How do you nourish yourself when you’re feeling depleted creatively?
If I’m feeling creatively stagnant or need to get out of my own head, being around creative friends and hearing where they are with their practice is a go-to. Seeing how they approach their craft and what they want to do next is always valuable. I also like to take walks or free write to stimulate ideas. If I feel depleted, taking care to make sure my routines are in place is also a good box to check.
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