BUS STOP Loves / Stylist & Set Desinger Alicia DeLarge


BUS STOP Loves / Alicia DeLarge
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For our weekly series, we've interviewed our favorite Philadelphians...the set designers, photographers, collaborators, models, and creative friends who have inspired us greatly and have worked with us to tell our brand story over the past 13 years. They've each played a BIG part in our storytelling with their unique work and abilities. Every week, we will feature & introduce another one of our favorite folks to you.
 
We've asked that each guest ponder 10 Questions (plus one additional Bonus Question) & send us their favorite selfie or self portrait to accompany the feature!

#BUSSTOPLoves
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Alicia DeLarge is a locator, manipulator, & curator of environments. She creates meaningful spaces for events & is also a set designer, dresser, & wardrobe stylist. Alicia plays careful attention to intimacy, memory, personality, & nostalgia within her work. Alicia also modeled & styled our BUS STOP X Afar campaign.

@distant_drummerrr
 
1. How long have you lived in Philly? 31 years
 
2. How do you describe yourself in THREE WORDS? gracious, dynamic, imaginative
 
3. How would your best friend describe you in THREE WORDS? creative, effervescent, loving
 
4. How did you start your career? My career started with my love of vintage furniture and nostalgic environments, and also Instagram lol. I grew up frequenting sidewalk sales and thrift stores with my grandmother.  On any given day you could catch us in the backyard or the garage, recreating a piece of furniture we acquired earlier that day. Needless to say, I began appreciating and collecting vintage pieces at a very young age lol. 2013 was the year I decided I was over selling sweaters at Loft and was ready to work with furniture and started designing windows for West Elm. 2014 was the first time I was given the opportunity to serve as a set designer and it was also the year I served as a wardrobe stylist. I was literally skipping class at CCP to go work on set with my homegirl who was a wardrobe stylist in New York at the time. Instagram also played an integral role in the start of my career by giving me space to post all the environments I would find around the city. Most of my friends were also starting their own brands and product lines at the time and would reach out to me to find out what the locations were in my photos. This is when I realized I could serve my friends by offering location scouting services which grew into me using the vintage pieces I collected to decorate the locations I found and my career as a set designer was born. I am proud to say my first opportunity I was given to do set design was by my friend and colleague Curran Swint of, Kings Rule Together. Ni'ma Ford and Curran Swint drafted an amazing editorial entitled, Gentlewoman, inspired by the writings of Enitan Bereola II. I had the pleasure of creating sets to bring this narrative into fruition and collaborate with Skai Blue Media and Bo Concept. I legit haven't thought about my beginning of my career in a while and am grateful to have been asked this question to reflect for a moment and see how far God has brought me. The wild part is I honestly feel like my career is just now starting lol, and I've been doing this work for the last 5-6 years. I just worked my first full feature film as a set dresser last year! I'm super grateful for this question, honestly.
 
5. Who’s your mentor? I have had many mentors but my most impactful mentors have been the amazing men of Search and Rescue, Modern Republic, and Butcher Shop Rehab. I have learned the most from Tawfeeq, L, and Kenya, these men are the reason I know how to use tools or build anything! I developed my eye and my confidence as a designer working with them and observing them. I had my first experience truly designing and transforming environments with them. We designed retail stores, built custom furniture, and designed trade shows together. To this day I can call them if I need anything, furniture, advice, guidance and they are always there. I would be nothing without them, love them!
 
My newest, most favorite mentor is Tim Stevens, he is an amazing Production Designer and can make anything out of anything and nothing lol. I met him on the set of my senior thesis project and he hasn't been able to get rid of me ever since. I have learned so much from him in reference to being a production designer and I am so grateful for him. The one thing I appreciate the most about Tim is that he always creates space for others to grow and be elevated, especially women. Anytime I work with him I am sure to meet an amazing beautiful strong badass woman lol.

6. What do you fantasize about? I fantasize often about moments I want to create. I fantasize about traveling the world, about the house I want to buy for Caleb, about my future cactus garden, my greenhouse and my horses.
 
7. What keeps you up at night? So many things honestly.
 
8. How has the pandemic affected you? The pandemic has totally affected me in various ways. At the beginning of the pandemic I lost all of my jobs for the entire year and I had to shut down production on the first film I have ever been the lead production designer on, and I also decorated an entire house from top to bottom as a frat house so that was a lot to dismantle after 2 days of production! I was devastated and relieved at the same time, pissed that I no longer had income and had to shut down something so soon that my team and I worked so hard to create, but also grateful I didn't work the way I was supposed to this year or I would've been burnt out. The pandemic was a gift and a curse, it gave me back time I thought I lost with my son, gave me ample amounts of time to sit with God and myself. I was eating well, learning how to rest, maintaining peace in my space, enjoying my new neighborhood and apartment, and honestly just being. It was a curse due to all the pain that many were experiencing because of the burden of being Black in America. It's wild to me that I possibly have to raise my son in a country that despises him and will never fully accept him as it's own. I've been in pain and will remain in prayer over the hearts of many. Praying hearts and minds will change to bring much needed peace and rest.  I lost many friends and family during the pandemic and up until this day. I don't fully understand why but this is truly a year of loss, purging, cleansing. I've never lost this many people and relationships in one year in my life.
 
9. How has the BLM Movement influenced your life and your work? BLM Movement influenced my life by reigniting how proud I am to be Black. My homegirl Imani Shanklin Roberts and I were moved to create a photo series that represented the 7 archetypes of a Black woman. We created imagery to reflect how we were operating in these archetypal ways during the pandemic. I was also moved to support Black women who lost their jobs and needed income by selling their clothing on my platform with my vintage to allow them to create some income during the pandemic. I was proud to witness my friends and colleagues serve the community in various ways through cleaning up the streets, serving the elderly, protesting, painting murals on the streets of NY and DC.
 
10: What's one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
People would be surprised that I have always been obsessed with space and I attended NASA space camp when I was a kid for a couple weeks and it was the best experience I've ever had in life lol. I played field hockey from 5th grade to 12th grade and killed it lol, I was a sweeper!
 
BONUS Q: What's your favorite spot in Philly? Buttercup Cottage, Bartram's Gardens, Irwins Upstairs, Valley Green, and any rooftop in Philadelphia (Irwins is my favorite though).
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Alicia, we love you! Hope our readers have some insight in what makes you so unique and amazing.
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Alicia styled and modeled our BUS STOP X Afar Chelsea Boot collection in 2017 [photography by Saeed Ferguson]