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Alternative Apparel founder on growth plans

Greg Alterman looking at
Greg Alterman looking at fabrics in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Alternative Apparel.
By Shelby Stanger
December 13, 2010 6:18 AM

Known for its soft, vintage-looking Ts, Alternative Apparel is close to reaching $100 million in sales.

 

Founder and Chief Creative Officer Greg Alterman discusses the company's rapid growth and shares what's next, including a move into retail.

 

How big is the company right now?

Greg Alterman Greg Alterman

We’re about to reach the $100 million mark in sales and currently have roughly 180 employees at Alternative.

 

Where are you based?

Our headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia with our Design Lab and primary showroom located in Los Angeles and an additional showroom in New York.

 

How many employees do you have?

Approximately 180. Notably, we’ve brought on 83 new hires since 2009.

 

Over the last few years, how much have you grown?

We’re fortunate to have experienced rapid growth and expansion despite the recent economic downturn. We grew 550% in our first six years, and we continue to grow every day with new hires, new product segments and new ventures.

 

How much of your business is blanks versus selling wholesale to retail accounts?

Alternative TRight now, our consumer sales make up about 5% of our volume with our wholesale/ASI/brand accounts comprising the other 95%.

 

What are your biggest categories?

Alternative began as a blank T-shirt company, so Ts are obviously huge for us. When our customers buy an Alternative tee, they know it’s not just any T-shirt; each piece is designed to fit flawlessly and have that signature vintage softness. The quality and care that go into each garment give the wearer a feeling confidence and being comfortable in their own skin—that’s what sets Alternative apart from the competition.

 

Over the years, we’ve been able to bring our commitment to comfort and craftsmanship to new categories. We’re starting to expand our outerwear and bottoms and have received a great response from our customers in those categories.

 

See Page 2 for Alternative's expansion plans

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