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Alice Lawrance – The Fictional Movie Character of Designer Will Lee

Leaving Taiwan to start a new life in Seoul, the story of Alice Lawrance began when founder Will Lee was part-time modelling and tutoring in South Korea while making printed T-Shirts with a couple of friends. At a young age, being inspired by fashion icons such as Hiroshi Fujiwara and Pharrell Williams, Will had the idea of turning his lifestyle into an imaginary movie. Alice Lawrance and his book shop Lucy Martin are therefore characters in the plot, representing his views in fashion and life.

The label serves to represent the idea of post-modern streetwear with its unisex collections built upon memory and moods. Playfully dubbed “I DRESS BETTER THAN YOUR BOYFRIEND,” the Fall/Winter 2019 Collections serves as the most expansive offering from the post-streetwear label. A focus on upgrading wardrobe staples was the inspiration of the collection, led by the ALIEN 310 HOODED PADDING JACKET 2.0: Love Will Tear Us Apart which features a subtle Joy Division embroidered detail, retro sportswear-inspired LOVE WILL TEAR US APART RAPTOR ANORAK and contrast design TIM THE HYBRID TRUCKER JACKET.  To learn more about the vision of the designer and his inspirations, Lee joins us for a chat about the history and his outlook for Alice Lawrance.

HBX: What goes behind the inspiration of your designs?

Will: Basically I get inspirations from my daily life, sometimes from books, sometimes from movies or music etc. Pretty much something I see, hear and feel.

In addition, my designs are usually based on my personal preferences and habits. For instance, as a frequent flyer, our hoodie has a big hood because I like to wear a hoodie when I fly and I want my hoodie to be able to cover my entire head when I sleep; Our jackets usually have big interior pockets to secure everything from passport to wallet, boarding pass and cell phone.

HBX: Is there a story behind the “I dress better than your boyfriend” slogan?

Will: I just randomly saw this slogan on the internet and thought it was funny but also inspiring. We all have the times that we see some girls with some wacky boys. However, this slogan is also applicable to girls because nowadays more and more girls dress unisex and they often look cooler than many guys!

HBX: What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far as a designer?

Will: I don’t see myself as a designer, and I don’t think I have accomplished anything, yet. I’m a person who wants to create a culture, a lifestyle, instead of just being a fashion designer. But if I really have to say what I have achieved the most while running Alice Lawrance, it is to see some younger generation wearing my stuff.

HBX: Are there any brands or designers you would want to collaborate with in the future?

Will: A lot. Stussy, Nike, Porter, Ralph Lauren, Undercover, Oliver People, Hakusan glasses…There are too many more and I’m not at their levels yet!

HBX: How do you envision Alice Lawrance progressing in the future? Are there any 2020 goals or milestones that the brand hopes to achieve in the new year?

Will: Alice Lawrance is not a typical fashion brand and I just want to make clothes that are comfy and wearable. I want AL to be something that, when people are feeling lazy for the day, or when people have no idea what to wear, they would instinctively grab AL when they open their closets.

In the future, I just hope AL can enter more cool shops and I can see more people wearing it. As a one-man business, I’ve never bought ads or approached celebrities or KOLs, I just want to be true to myself. Along the way, I do have many good and cool friends (buyers, editors, DJs etc.) who are always helping me also rocking AL. It’s only our 7th collection and I really appreciate everything and am feeling really blessed.