Cameron Alpert launches lifestyle brand
Georgia native Cameron Alpert never dreamed of being a fashion icon, but the 26-year-old entrepreneur’s venture into apparel is making waves.
In 2012, after graduating from Georgia State University with a degree in film and marketing, Alpert moved to Los Angeles to produce films. As a side project, he started creating urban-influenced Judaic apparel to wear around town, and his Akiva Stripe brand was born.
“I had been doing a lot of creative projects in Los Angeles, and I was looking for a way to express my own individual Jewish identity,” Alpert said. “I started creating clothing that I could wear myself. Friends of mine that were Jewish or otherwise really enjoyed it. So I decided to start mass-manufacturing it and promoting it as a lifestyle brand.”
Alpert, who grew up in Albany, didn’t get the chance to fully embrace his Jewish roots until he attended Georgia State. He joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and was active in Hillel. That enhanced involvement with Judaism brought Alpert closer to Israel, and he started drawing up sketches in his notebook with a few of the most recognizable Israeli and Judaic symbols.
After showing his work to a few friends in L.A. and receiving a positive response, Alpert began printing his designs on T-shirts.
“When I showed friends sketches in my notebook and they liked it,” he said, “I realized there was a niche for this in the marketplace. There needed to be a serious route when it comes to expressing Jewish iconography. When I started drafting more designs, I realized this apparel is something people can really wear every day and not feel novel about it.”
Alpert’s designs are available at www.akivastripe.com in T-shirt, hoodie and hat form. His work prominently features the hamsa, the Star of David, and a host of other Judaic-inspired symbols and sayings. All of the apparel is manufactured at a space in downtown L.A. that Alpert also uses as a collective space for other projects.
Akiva Stripe is only a few years old, but it has found a community on Instagram, where the brand has over 10,000 followers. Because of that online following, Alpert has shelved plans to get the apparel into brick-and-mortar stores and is continuing to focus on a direct-to-consumer sales model.
Despite his accomplishments in the fashion world, Alpert remains committed to his goal of breaking into the film industry. He is working on securing funding for a crime thriller titled “Run With the Beast,” set in Copenhagen.
“I see myself branching out into various ventures,” Alpert said. “Film, fashion, technology — anything that allows me to be creative. I’m doing things that not only indulge my own creativity, but things that provide new outlets within the community for expression. The most important thing to me is taking on Jewish-inspired projects. Over the next few years, I want to be as involved as possible with the Jewish community.”