What do you get when you mix Tumblrs, fashion and cats together? If you’re a Tumblr-fashion-cat-loving nineteen-year-old from Seattle, you might get the best amalgamation of all of these. That’s Alec Weitl, ‘CEO’ of Sexy Sweaters, who we met through his amazing website, featuring his sweater designs that we can’t help but love. It just so happened that Alec was catching the red eye the night we sent him a message, from Seattle to New York City on a business trip; a collaboration with Paul Rowland of Ford Models. “We’re just bouncing ideas right now,” Alec tells me. “Basically they want to start an online store and they want to target the teenage market, and I totally know how to do that, so I just have to show them how to do it.” Not formally trained in business or fashion, Alec is simply a product of the internet age. In just a year after dropping out of college, he has turned his love of trolling Tumblrs into a site that elicits the hash-tag #want, again and again. “It’s crazy,” he says, in reference to my comment on his 30,000-and-counting Facebook likes. “My Tumblr got like a hundred thousand likes in a few days after I started it.” When you see it, you’ll see why. Taking his favorite images and Photoshopping them onto sweaters to create something he calls ‘sexy sweaters’, designs are anything Alec likes, from burgers and ice cream, to Lady Gaga and King Tut. “They are basically photos of things I like, that I put on to sweaters,” he says, in a ‘like, duh’ tone. There’s nothing complicated about it, and even with all the work ahead — finding a manufacturer, the project with Paul, and a potential collaboration with Nicola Formichetti — “it’s a lot of fun,” Alec says, between ice cream licks, vanilla and strawberry scoops that match his newly bleached blonde hair and a tuft of hot pink bang poking through his Batman snapback. “I had brown hair a few weeks ago. Look, this is me dyeing it,” he says as he pulls out his iPhone and shows me before and after shots. This is a regular occurrence, Alec and his phone, showing me things he’s talking about, colored contact lensed-eyes lighting up, rimmed with eyeliner, complimenting his gold painted nails and OMG jewelry, a handmade piece of which he gives me to keep. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what happens with sexy-sweaters (and to collect them all!). In the meantime, read our little Q&A below. Thanks Alec! New York loves you.
Where are you from?
Seattle. Well actually I’m an hour from the city but I just say Seattle ’cause that’s what people know.
What brings you to New York?
I was flown out here by Paul Rowland at Ford Models. We are working on a project… it’s kind of in the works right now.. something to do with me designing a line for Ford’s online store. He really likes rainbows, so I’m trying to make things more colorful. I think we are going to work on a cat sweater, with like all crazy cat heads and colorful backgrounds.
I have a little bit of a cat obsession…
Me too. I love cats. Cats and fashion just go together.
Do you have any cats?
Yeah, I have two cats.
I have no idea. They are from my aunt when she moved, she had to get rid of them.
What is Sexy Sweaters?
Sexy Sweaters is a blog I started with designs that I thought would look good on sweaters.
How did you come up with the name?
I was looking online at different Tumblrs and started Photoshopping pictures I liked onto sweaters. So right now it’s just a graphics thing, and I am hoping to get them all in production soon. Things are about to get really crazy.
What are some of your favorites?
There’s this one, a Damien Hirst Skull called “For The Love of God” and it’s like all covered in diamonds and it’s a $4 million art piece. I really like this King Tut one I did and, there’s some ones I’m doing for Ford right now, they have cat heads and random backgrounds…I think cats are really cool.
Can we buy them?
Not yet. I’m still working out a manufacturing deal with either China which would be cheaper but lower quality. I think I’m going to get some people in Russia. They want to take me snowboarding!
Did you go to school for fashion?
No, I think school is kind of pointless. It’s smart if you want to get a job. It’s stupid if you want to do your own shit. Plus anything you want to learn how to do, you can learn on the internet.
How do you describe your personal style?